Cauvery water: Karnataka to press PM to stay SC order

The decision was taken in the backdrop of Supreme Court directing the state to implement the CRA order.

Updated: Sep 29, 2012, 18:17 PM IST

Bangalore: Karntaka Government on Saturday decided to press Prime Minister Manmohan Singh again to stay the September 19 order of Cauvery River Authority headed by him directing the state to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15.

The decision was taken in the backdrop of Supreme Court yesterday directing the state to implement the CRA order.

"Had the CRA stayed the order (as sought in a review petion filed before it by Karnataka Government), we would not have faced such a problem (yesterday`s Supreme Court order)", Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters here.

Speaking after holding meetings with Cabinet colleagues, opposition leaders and legal experts, Shettar said in view of yesterday`s order, it was decided to request the Prime Minister again to give "interim stay".

"We will file the petition in a short period of time. We will fax it. We will request him to pass the order by this evening," said Shettar, flanked by Water Resources Minister Basavaraja Bommai, Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, who holds the Home and Transport portfolios, and Law Minister S Suresh Kumar.

"We will press the Prime Minister to order interim stay based on it (the response), we will take a decision (future course of action)," he said.

The Supreme Court yesterday pulled up the Karnataka Government for failing to comply with the Prime Minister-headed CRA directive to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.

A bench of justices D K Jain and Madan Lokur also warned Karnataka that if it failed to comply with the CRA directive, it will have to pass appropriate orders.

"This is the order passed by the CRA, headed by the Prime Minister. You don`t want to comply with it. We are very sorry for the kind of respect you have for the highest authority. You comply with the directive or we will pass the order," the bench had told the counsel appearing for the Karnataka Government.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah (Congress) criticised the BJP Government`s handling of the issue, including for not filing a petition on CRA order before the Supreme Court.

In addition, Karnataka`s team of counsel headed by Fali S Nariman did not appear before the Supreme Court yesterday and only an "advocate on record" (V N Raghupathy) was present, he claimed.

"We did not get a satisfactory reply from the Government on their absence," he said.

Nariman should have argued the case yesterday and tried to convince the apex court on the ground realities in Karnataka, which had only 69 TMC ft of water in all its four reservoirs and there was a shortage of 85 TMC ft of water, Siddaramaiah said.

He claimed Tamil Nadu has sufficient water (about 47 TMC ft in Mettur dam). "They don`t need water now immediately".

Siddaramaiah charged the state government with lapses in legal battle on the Cauvery issue. "We are not satisfied by their conduct".

Siddaramaiah and JDS leader H D Revanna (JDS) urged the government to continue with the legal battle to protect the interests of the state and its farmers.