Karnataka averts a crisis, releases Cauvery water
After much hoo-ha, Karnataka has yielded to the Supreme Court order on sharing Cauvery waters with Tamil Nadu. Apparently, stern warnings from the apex court for refusing to release water have broken Karnataka’s resolve.
Till the other day, Karnataka had been maintaining that it did not have enough water to spare for Tamil Nadu which sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to save the state’s dying crops. Karnataka did not relent and continued to defy the top court’s order. On Monday, however, the Karnataka legislature had adopted a ‘modified resolution’ allowing the state to release water as directed by the apex court to Tamil Nadu. Water gates were opened on Monday night. The reason given by Karnataka for its change of heart is more inflows to Cauvery reservoir.
The apex court has set up a technical panel with the Central Water Commission chief as head. It is to visit both states and submit a report by October 17. In the mean time, Karnataka has been asked to release 2,000 cusecs of water a day from October 7 to 18.
Meanwhile, hopes of finding a solution to the century-old Cauvery dispute faded with the central government telling the apex court which wanted a board of experts to be set up to find a permanent solution to the row that such body could not be established without parliament approval. Why this fact had not been revealed earlier was ‘a government mistake.’
Had the government made its position clear when riots broke out in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, huge loss to life and property could have been avoided.