The Cauvery Monitoring Committee(CMC) will meet in New Delhi on Thursday in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu filing a defamation case against Karnataka for stopping water release to that state.
The CMC, which will see the chief secretaries of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puduchery and Kerala attending the meeting, is likely to receive the study report from the central team that visited Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to assess the ground realities in the Cauvery basin.
State water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai, who held a meeting with legal experts and senior officials in Bangalore to discuss the Cauvery issue, urged prime minster Manmohan Singh to consider Karnataka’s plea for withdrawing the Cauvery River Authority(CRA) order which had asked it to release 9000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till October 15.
“PM Singh need not necessarily call the meeting of CRA. The Supreme Court had asked CRA to take a call on the issue. Therefore, I request PM Singh to understand the situation in state and take a decision,” Bommai said.
Bommai said that he would write a detailed letter to the central water resources secretary, who is also secretary to CRA. He criticised Singh for denying an appointment to chief minister Jagadish Shettar. “Singh heads a federal nation. How can he deny to meet a chief minister of a state,” he questioned.
He further said that it was early to react to the contempt case filed by Tamil Nadu against the state. “We have to look into the grounds of contempt. We have informed the court that so far we have complied with the order and stopped releasing water on October 08. On the last day, the state released 13,000 cusecs of water. Hence, there is no possibility of facing a contempt action,” he argued.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar on Wednesday said prime minister Manmohan Singh won’t be able to convene a meeting or take a decision on October 12 regarding the Cauvery water dispute.
Shivakumar told reporters that BJP leaders were falsely stating that the prime minister could take a decision on the issue.
“The prime minister cannot convene a meeting of the CRA unless there is a quorum. The meeting can take place only if at least chief ministers of three states attend it. Under the present circumstances, the chief ministers of Puduchery and Tamil Nadu are unlikely to attend the CRA even if it is convened,” he maintained.
He felt Jagadish Shettar should not have walked out of the CRA meeting held on September 19. Singh explained to the Congress delegation from the state that if CM Shettar had sat through the meeting and pressed for justice the amount of water to be released to Tamil Nadu would have been reduced from 9,000 cusecs to 5,000-7,000 cusecs, Shivakumar said.
Shettar was more interested in getting an appreciation from the people by staging a walkout from the CRA meeting than protecting the interests of the state, Shivakumar alleged.
The central team’s report will come before central irrigation secretary first and later the discussion takes place at the level of chief secretaries. It is only in the later stage that PM can intervene. It takes time, the Congress leader maintained.