Karnataka released 10,000 cusecs of water from the Krishna Raja Sagara dam to Tamil Nadu amid tight security, abiding by a Supreme Court order.
“With a heavy heart, we have decided to release the water as directed by the apex court,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said. The Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to release 15,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu for 10 days, after a Supreme Court directive to alleviate the plight of farmers in Tamil Nadu.
Siddaramaiah added that all efforts would be made to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and other places as also for crops.
The protesters also cooked in large pots and played volleyball on the highway. The police have barricaded roads to Mandya, where schools and colleges have been closed till Thursday. Protests on the highway have affected traffic between two major cities, Bengaluru and Mysuru.
A farmer was rushed to the hospital after an attempted suicide in Karnataka’s Mandya on Wednesday. The farmer had tried to commit suicide by jumping into a canal.
In Mandya, agitated farmers and activists belonging to pro-Kannada outfits have blocked Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had appealed to farmers to maintain peace and tranquillity and not to cause any damage to public property. Farmers are also planning a strike near the KRS dam site.
KSRTC officials in Mysuru said they were operating bus services on a limited fleet as the buses had not reached Mysuru from Ramanagaram and Mandya.
“Nariman had offered that Karnataka would release 10,000 cusecs of water for six days only as a goodwill gesture. But the court took a view and asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs for 10 days,” he said. To justify Nariman’s voluntary offer, he cited a similar instance in 2012, another distress year, when the SC had accepted the offer made by Karnataka, again represented by Nariman, to release 10,000 cusecs for 10 days. He said the then BJP government led by Jagadish Shettar released water without even consulting the opposition.
Defending this government’s decision to release water, Siddaramaiah said even two other previous chief ministers, S M Krishna and Deve Gowda, had obeyed SC orders in this regard. He said Karnataka would move the SC again seeking modification of the order. Besides, he said, the state was hoping for a favourable direction from the Cauvery Supervisory Committee.