The Karnataka Assembly on Friday took a decision that would limit the use of Cauvery water in the state, thereby setting up a confrontation with the Supreme Court in this regard. The apex court had on Tuesday, September 20, ordered Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water every day to Tamil Nadu from September 21 to 27.
In the special session called on Friday, the Karnataka Assembly unanimously passed and adopted a resolution that gave Chief Minister Siddaramaiah the power to limit the use of Cauvery water to only supply of drinking water. The one-line resolution was introduced by the BJP, which is in the Opposition in the state, and got the support of the Congress and the JD(S).
The resolution means Karanataka will not use the water of the Cauvery river for any purpose other than drinking, thereby implying that it will not release the water to Tamil Nadu too for irrigation. State Agricultural Minister M B Patil said during the session: "We have to take some tough steps to protect interests of our people."
Karnataka has already been saying that the water level at the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam, from which the water was to be released, was already low. Siddaramaiah had said after the Supreme Court order: "Since we do not have water, it [the apex court's order] is very difficult to implement. It is an unimplementable order."
This was in line with the argument Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, made before the Supreme Court. He had said: "We will have to sacrifice our drinking water for irrigation purposes in Tamil Nadu."