Cauvery row: Karnataka releases water, Yeddyurappa held

Cauvery Row
Bangalore, Feb 9: Karnataka has started releasing Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Supreme Court even as former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was arrested near Mysore as he tried to break police cordon imposed near Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir. Irrigation authorities said about 1,250 cusecs of water was being released from this morning from the reservoir.

"We have to respect the Supreme Court directive. We will petition the court Monday for relief as we ourselves are facing severe shortage," Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said on Saturday.

The Supreme Court on Thursday had directed Karnataka to release 2.44 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet of water to Tamil Nadu to save crops in that state.

Police imposed prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people around a three kilometre radius of the reservoir to prevent farmers and Kannada organisations to lay siege to it. But Yeddyurappa, who was on a padyatra to the reservoir, was taken into custody on the road leading to the KRS dam. The Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) chief had suspended his Mysore-Bangalore padayatra, launched to press the Centre against notifying the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal's final award, and headed towards Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir to stage a protest against the water release.

Members of the Raitha Sangha led by its President K S Puttannaiah resorted to a road blockade at Gejjalagere in Mandya district demanding immediate halt to water release.

Due to failure of rains, the water storage in all the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin had depleted and the state was already facing acute shortage for drinking water.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah also lashed out at the government for releasing water.

After holding consultations with floor leaders of both the Houses of legislatures on Friday, the government had announced its decision to file a petition in the apex court seeking review of its February 7 order directing the state to release 2.44 tmc ft of water citing depleted water storage level.

The Supreme Court gave the directive on a petition by Tamil Nadu seeking 12 TMC ft of water to save standing crops in delta districts.

OneIndia News

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