A day after Karnataka expressed inability to release Cauvery water, Supreme Court today asked it to discharge 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till Friday despite its assembly resolution, but called for a political solution to the impasse by convening of a meeting of Chief Ministers of the two states and the Centre.
The apex court, which was strongly urged by Tamil Nadu not to hear Karnataka till it complied with the previous orders, asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to facilitate a meeting of the executive heads of both states with the Centre over the next two days to find a resolution to the impasse.
"We think it appropriate that Karnataka releases 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu in three days by following the order passed by us, despite the resolution passed by the assembly," a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit said.
While the order was being dictated by the bench, senior advocate F S Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, vehemently opposed any direction asking the state to release water, saying there was "no logic in it" and the order amounted to "a direct confrontation".
Blaming Karnataka's "obstructionist and obstinate" attitude for the impasse and non-compliance of the apex court directives, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, submitted: "On instruction, I am saying that the state (Tamil Nadu) is fed up. We are simply tired of this litigation. We are not getting what is our legitimate rights."
"We are in a federal structure and in a democracy like India, no state can say it will not obey the Supreme Court's order. You cannot pick up fight with everyone. It is not about Karnataka or Tamil Nadu or any state, there has to be federal cooperativism," the bench said, asking both states to cooperate in finding a solution to the water feud.
The bench, on being repeatedly pursued by Tamil Nadu to get its orders enforced, said "Have patience for few days.
This is not an ordinary litigation. Let us see how things shape up."
In its plea before the apex court yesterday, Karnataka had sought modification of its order asking it to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, saying it could release the water only by the end of the year, as it first needs to provide for its own state for drinking purposes.
The Karnataka assembly had last week passed a unanimous resolution during a special session directing the state to release the water only for drinking purposes to Bengaluru and regions surrounding Cauvery basin