Amid protests, Karnataka has started releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu complying with the Supreme Court directive asking it to release 15,000 cusecs per day to the neighbouring state for ten days. "Karnataka has started releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu to obey the Supreme Court directive asking the state government to release 15,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu for ten days," a state water resources ministry official told PTI here.
He said the state started releasing water from midnight yesterday. Meanwhile, protesters have intensified their agitation in Mandya and other parts of the state blocking several roads and forcing schools and colleges to shut down. Complying with the Supreme Court direction, the state government yesterday decided to release water despite "severe hardships."
The Court order directed an immediate backlash with agitated farmers and activists belonging to pro-Kannada outfits blocking the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway. Mandya district, the nucleus of Cauvery politics, saw a bandh yesterday with protesters holding road blockades and dharnas at several places, as hundreds of security personnel -- including central forces -- were deployed in the Cauvery belt to maintain law and order.
"Despite severe hardships faced by the government of Karnataka, the state will release water as directed by the Supreme Court," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had told reporters after nearly a three-hour long all-party meeting convened by him here, yesterday. Siddaramaiah had also said government would approach the Supreme Court with a modification petition, explaining its difficulties in implementing its order. Noting that the 'samba' crops in Tamil Nadu would be adversely affected, an apex Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit directed Karnataka to ensure supply of water to Tamil Nadu.