In Karnataka, farmers and pro-Kannada outfits have called for a bandh (shutdown) today in Mandya district in south Karnataka to protest against Supreme Court’s directive asking the state to release water from the Cauvery river to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Mandya is the volatile heartland of the Cauvery basin and the area usually leads in protests on the emotive Cauvery issue.
Schools and colleges in the district are closed today. Around 700 state transport (KSRTC) buses have been taken off roads today after several buses were stopped on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway.
Tamil Nadu Government had approached the Court asking it to direct Karnataka to release water as per the 2007 decision of the Cauvery Tribunal. The tribunal had been set up to find a solution to the ongoing dispute between the two states.
Karnataka says its reservoirs are not holding enough water due to inadequate rainfall in the catchment area and had offered 10,000 cusecs of water a day.
Since the water released by karnataka is not adequate for Tamil Nadu Cauvery delta farming, the Supreme Court has directed 15,000 cusecs be released every day for the next 10 days until the case is heard again on the 16th.
In Tamil Nadu, Farmers & Many political leaders expressing their happiness at the Supreme Court’s order to Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu every day for next 10 days. Also they thanked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa & her continuous efforts on this Cauvery issue.
“We are happy at the Supreme Court’s order. The total water release ordered for 10 days amounts to around 12 thousand million cubic (TMC) of water. Only when 25 TMC water is released there will be storage at Mettur Dam for release,” S Ranganathan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association, told IANS.
He said it is possible for Karnataka to release 25 TMC of water so that it can cater to the need of crops till October.
“Before the close of September, we have to raise the crop,” Ranganathan added. He hoped the Tamil Nadu government would press strongly for more as the interim release will not be helpful.
“In order to have smooth release of water there should be Cauvery Management Board (CMB) but it may take time. Till CMB is set up there can be a committee headed by a judge with members from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This is to address the issue and take decisions based on the availability of water,” Ranganathan added.