Cauvery water row:
[Representational image]Creative Commons

The Karnataka government is mulling to release Cauvery River water from its reservoirs in the "interest of farmers" and a formal announcement to this effect is expected sometime later after deliberations in the legislature.

According to reports, pressure is being mounted on the Karnataka government by the Supreme Court to release water to Tamil Nadu. On Monday, the apex court told the Karnataka government to confirm by Tuesday 2 pm if it has released water to Tamil Nadu and also asked the latter to stop defying its orders.

Karnataka has so far defied two of Supreme Court's orders while saying that it is not wilfully defying the order, but only following the legislature's resolution to stop releasing water since the state is running out of drinking water.

The Karnataka government has also told the court that water can only be released to Tamil Nadu in November after the state receives more rain.

The move to release water was discussed at the business advisory committee meeting convened by the assembly speaker, KB Koliwad, on Monday. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah reportedly briefed the leaders about the proposal to release water.

"There has been an inflow of 6,000 million cubic feet of Cauvery River water into the reservoirs in the last one week. We can keep 27,000 million cubic feet of water for our drinking water requirements and release the excess water for agriculture," Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

It has not been specified if the water would be released to farmers of Karnataka or Tamil Nadu, but the 'water will eventually flow to Tamil Nadu.'

Therefore the ambiguity is out of fear of a political backlash. Also by releasing excess water, the Siddaramaiah government will send a message to the Supreme Court that it has not defied the latter's orders.