The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with orders of the Cauvery Water Management Authority and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, directing Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, amid a renewed debate between the two states over sharing of the river water. Farmers organisations and pro-Kannada organisations staged protests in Mysuru, Mandya, Bengaluru urging the state government not to release water to Tamil Nadu.
Pointing out that Cauvery and Kabini basin taluks have already been declared as drought hit, a farmer leader alleged, CWMA orders are in favour of Tamil Nadu as it is without taking into account the water level at reservoirs, standing crops and drinking water needs of Karnataka.
Around 195 taluks have been declared as drought-affected and an estimated 40 lakh hectares of agricultural crops and two lakh hectares of horticulture crops have been damaged in Karnataka,, State Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said on Tuesday.
The CWMA on Monday asked Karnataka to continue releasing 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for another 15 days after the CWRC last week made such a recommendation. Karnataka however, has been maintaining that it is not in a position to release water to Tamil Nadu taking into account its needs like drinking water and standing crops in the Cauvery basin areas, citing scarcity due to deficit monsoon rains.
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene (farmers organisation) staged a protest at Basaveshwara circle in Mysuru, and raised slogans: "Where is water to release? And we demand justice."