A group of farmers in Karnataka are holding a night-long candle-light vigil to protest against orders to release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu. The protest in Mandya — near Srirangapatna — started this morning. Their objection is to the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’s recommendation that Karnataka release 5000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the 15 days. Independent MLA Darshan Puttanaiah, who is backed by the Congress, has joined the protest.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar has planned to travel to Delhi tomorrow to discuss the Cauvery water issue.
Tamil Nadu has gone to the Supreme Court, which will hear the state’s plea to direct Karnataka to release the water.
Karnataka has filed an affidavit claiming that the Tribunal’s order was based on the assumption that it was a normal monsoon in the state, which it was not.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that the state cannot afford to release water, since it will empty the reservoirs and cause drinking water scarcity.
“I’m going to Delhi tomorrow to meet our legal team. The hearing (on Tamil Nadu’s plea on Cauvery water) will be coming on Friday. Our department officials have argued very well after Tamil Nadu demanded 24-25 TMC. We said we can give 3,000 cusecs,” Mr Shivakumar was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India earlier today.
“We will discuss how much we can reduce (the water released to Tamil Nadu) by making the court understand the situation in the state. We don’t want the keys to be handed over to others. At present, the keys are with us, and we have to safeguard our farmers,” he added.
Dispute over Cauvery water between the two southern states has been on for decades. In 1990, the Centre formed the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal to adjudicate between them.