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Karnataka to Supreme Court: Cannot release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till year end

The Karnataka government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court today, seeking a modification to its order from September 20 when it directed the state to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 27.

In the petition, Karnataka said it cannot release water to Tamil Nadu at this time, but is likely to be able to do so by the end of 2016.

On September 23, the Karnataka legislature passed a resolution that said they cannot release water from the river for anything but drinking water purposes in Bengaluru and other towns and villages that fall in the Cauvery basin.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday about the mandate from the legislature. The state is seeking modification of the order so it does not have a set deadline for the number of days it needs to release water.

On September 5, the apex court had told Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu, but it later reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs. The court verdict was followed by widespread protests carried out by farmers in Karnataka, who argued that the state needed the water more that its neighbour.

Tamil Nadu too organised a bandh on September 16, with farmers' and traders' bodies saying Tamilians had been targeted by Kannadiga protestors. On September 20, the court arrived at a new figure ? 6,000 cusecs ? but the Karnataka government refused to carry out the order.