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Cauvery row: Manmohan Singh meets Karnataka Congress, BJP leaders

Source : ANI
Last Updated: Mon, Oct 08, 2012 10:00 hrs

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Monday held consultations separately with Congress and BJP leaders from Karnataka on sharing the water of the Cauvery River with Tamil Nadu.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who led the Congress delegation, met the Prime Minister at his South Block office here for around an hour.

Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who was also a part of the Congress delegation along with Minister of State for Railways K.H. Munniyappa and Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, said that the Karnataka Ministers have urged the Prime Minister to resolve this issue of water dispute as soon as possible.

"Today we met the honourable Prime Minister along with our External Minister S. M. Krishna, K.H. Munniyappa and we upraised the situation of Karnataka Cauvery water basin and we have requested to resolve the problem as early as possible. That is the request made by us," he said.

Kharge further said the Prime Minister had sent an expert committee to review the situation and would take a decision after the report of the committee.

"Honourable Prime Minister has sent an expert committee to review the situation there and I think that team will come today or tomorrow morning. They will give the report and based on that report naturally Prime Minister has to take a considered decision and opinion," he added.

Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar earlier today met S.M. Krishna in Delhi amid demands by Karnataka leaders for a review of Cauvery River Authority's decision asking the state to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.

The Cauvery Monitoring Committee panel will decide the amount of water to be released from Karnataka after October 15.

Amid a raging water-sharing dispute between the two southern states, a central team is already visiting the two states to see water level in reservoirs, the condition of standing crops and water flow.

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the Karnataka Government to release daily 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu to comply with Dr. Singh-headed Cauvery River Authority (CRA).

An apex court bench of Justices D.K. Jain and Madan Lokur warned Karnataka that if it failed to comply with the CRA directive, it (the bench) will have to pass appropriate orders.

"This is the order passed by the CRA, headed by the Prime Minister. You don't want to comply with it. We are very sorry for the kind of respect you have for the highest authority. You comply with the directive or we will pass the order," the apex bench told the counsel appearing for the Karnataka Government.

The apex court then directed the state to release 9,000 cusecs of water under the distress sharing formula from September 20 to October 15 and sought its reply within a week.

Senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, who appeared for Tamil Nadu, earlier urged the apex court to direct the Union Government under Article 355 of the Constitution to protect the state's interest.

Under Article 355, it is the duty of the Union Government to protect states against external aggression, internal disturbances and to ensure that the governance of the state is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

The apex court was hearing an application by Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release 2-tmc ft of water daily for 24 days till the onset of the northeast monsoon. (ANI)




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