Following a unanimous resolution in the State legislature, Karnataka ended its defiance of the Supreme Court’s orders and started the release of 6,800 cusecs of water for irrigation purposes from the KRS dam at 8 p.m. on Monday; a large portion of this water is expected to reach Tamil Nadu. The move comes in the wake of the court’s observation on September 30, warning Karnataka not to invite the “wrath of the court” and asking it to release 6,000 cusecs a day from October 1 to 6.
A report from Mysuru said the discharge from the Kabini reservoir was at the rate of 3,500 cusecs.
Earlier, the legislature passed a resolution to “empower” the State government to release water to State irrigation canals. This meant a quantum of water could be released to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
A carefully worded resolution passed by the two Houses — which had on September 23 passed a resolution that water could be drawn only for drinking purposes — stated that given the increase in storage levels in the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin for the past 10 days, “the State government may take an appropriate decision regarding release of water for irrigation in the best interests of the State.”
The open-ended last line of the resolution, which empowers the State government to take an “appropriate decision”, drew criticism from the BJP. It cautioned the State government against any release of water to Tamil Nadu using this clause in the resolution.