Bangalore: Karnataka is unlikely to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu immediately though the Supreme Court on Thursday directed it to do so "forthwith", chief minister Jagadish Shettar indicated.
"It (directive to release water forthwith) is a matter of serious concern," Shettar told the state assembly soon after the apex court ordered Karnataka to release 2.44 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for irrigating standing crops in that state.
"Myself and water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai will fly to Delhi in a special plane later today (Thursday) to consult our legal experts on what needs to be done (to protect Karnataka's interests)," he said, replying to a brief discussion on the apex court order.
Shettar and earlier Bommai had told the House that in the past the Supreme Court directives were accompanied by a schedule to release the water over a period of time.
"This time the order is for forthwith release and this is of grave concern," Bommai said as opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular members demanded that the state government take all steps to get the directive rescinded.