The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu every day from September 21 till September 27, when the court will hear the case next, reported ANI. The apex court has also asked the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board within four weeks. The state government, while challenging an order passed by the Cauvery Supervisory Committee on Monday, told the bench, "We will have to sacrifice our drinking water for irrigation purposes in Tamil Nadu".
Reacting to the judgment, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said the state government was disappointed with the verdict. "Injustice time and again. We'll wait for the copy of order. The CM has called senior ministers, we will discuss and examine the different possibilities," he said. The state Cabinet will meet on Wednesday to decide on the future course of action.
Earlier in the day, the Bengaluru city police stepped up security in the city apprehending protests following the verdict, reported The Times of India. City police commissioner NS Megharikh said, "A total of 40 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police, 30 City Armed Reserve platoons, six Rapid Action Force squads, three companies of the Seema Suraksha Dal, three Border Security Force platoons and one company each of Central Industrial Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police will guard the city."
The state government has also deployed 15,000 civil police including senior police officers and 2,000 Home Guards, besides two Special Weapons and Tactics vehicles, 250 Hoysalas and 400 Cheetah bikes to patrol the city.
The Karnataka government had decided to challenge the Cauvery Supervisory Committee's order on releasing water from the river to Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court. The panel had on Monday directed Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from September 21 to September 30. However, neither state had agreed to the proposal.
The Cauvery panel is headed by Union Water Resources Minister Shashi Shekhar and comprises the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, along with the chairperson of the Central Water Commission, among others. On September 5, the Supreme Court had asked Tamil Nadu to approach the committee to find a solution to the dispute. The committee had met on September 12 but could not reach a decision then.
Initially, the apex court had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the river to Tamil Nadu, but it later modified its order and reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs. The court verdict had led to widespread protests carried out by farmers in Karnataka, who argued that the state needed the water more that its neighbour. Tamil Nadu had also held a bandh on September 16, with farmers' and traders' bodies saying Tamilians had been targeted by Kannadiga protestors.