New Delhi/Nagpur: Traffic was disrupted and vehicles carrying TN number plates were defaced; public buses were stopped between neighboring states Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in protest over the old issue of water sharing. This happened mostly in Mandya where the river Cauvery flows, against the Supreme Court directive to release 15,000 cusecs of water to downstream Tamil Nadu.
Traffic came to a crawl on the busy Bengaluru-Mysuru road after protesters took to the streets demanding that the state should not honour the SC directive to release Cauvery’s water. Buses coming from Tamil Nadu were stopped at the border town of Hosur. Further, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has suspended bus services to Mysuru, Kerala and to Tamil Nadu due to the prevailing tension.
“We will not release water to Tamil Nadu, come what may,” Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha President Vatal Nagaraj said in Bengaluru. His group burnt effigies in Bengaluru, while protesters, including lawyers, took to the streets in Mandya, where a bandh was declared.
The government has closed access to the famous Brindavan Gardens, adjoining the Krishna Rajendra Sagar (KRS) dam, where storage of water has been low due to a weak monsoon in the region.
On Monday, the SC directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu over the next ten days to save standing Samba crops in the Cauvery basin. Tamil Nadu had sought release of 50.52 thousand million cubic feet (Tmc ft) of water for the farmers.
The lack of good monsoon in the catchment areas has resulted in the KRS having 17.96 Tmc ft of water as against its total capacity of 49.45 Tmc ft.
The farmers of Karnataka are protesting that they themselves do not have enough water for their standing crops and it is “very unfair” that they are being forced to give water to Tamil Nadu in such conditions.
The CM of Congress ruled Karnataka has meanwhile promised that law and order will not be disrupted any more over this issue.