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Bangalore: Karnataka has filed a petition before the Cauvery River Authority seeking review of its September 19 ruling in which the state was asked to release 9,000 cusecs of water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Invoking powers conferred under Section 6 of the Inter-State River Disputes Act, Karnataka pleaded with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is also the Chairman of Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to keep the CRA decision in -abeyance- till the time it was reviewed and set aside.
-We filed the review petition last night itself. The petition was also submitted in person to PMO today,- Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said after chairing a meeting of floor leaders of both Houses of the Legislature.
He said the state has also requested the Prime Minister to depute an expert team to assess ground realities in the state, which is facing one of the worst droughts in 40 years.
-We have decided to continue the legal battle on this issue. We are consulting senior advocates-, he said.
Mr. Shettar said despite being explained the severe gravity of drought conditions, including in 49 taluks in the Cauvery basin and requirement of water for standing crops and drinking water, the Prime Minister directed Karnataka to release water.
-With due respect to the chair and also to protect the interest of people of the state, we had to stage a walkout of the meeting,- Mr. Shettar said, defending Karnataka’s action.
The CRA meeting had ended in failure as both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu rejected Singh’s award of 9000 cusecs to save standing crops in the delta region.
Mr. Shettar had walked out of the meeting, saying the state was not ready to give -even a drop of water- to Tamil Nadu, while his counterpart Jayalalithaa had called the meeting a -totally disappointed- affair and said the state would move the Supreme Court over the issue.
At today’s meeting, Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Karnataka was facing shortage of water as it has only 76 tmcft against the requirement of 155 tmcft.
30 tmcft is required to meet drinking water requirements and there is an urgent need to protect standing crops, including perennial crops like paddy and sugarcane, he said.
Tamil Nadu does not require water for irrigation at this stage and has stored 47 tmcft till yesterday in Mettur reservoir, Siddaramaiah claimed.
While the South—West monsoon has ended in Karnataka, the North—East monsoon commences in Tamil Nadu next month and is expected to continue till January, he said.
Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eswarappa, R Ashoka, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, leader of Congress in the Upper House S R Patil, JDS leader H D Revanna, T B Jayachandra (Cong) and several others also attended the meeting