Sunday, October 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Krishna seeks early CRA meeting
A. Balu

Chennai, October 5
With the decision of the Karnataka Cabinet today not to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu in defiance of the directive of the Supreme Court, the ongoing dispute between the two states is poised to take an ugly turn unless the Centre intervenes to find an amicable solution.

The Union Law and Justice Minister, Mr Jana Krishnamurthi, while saying that the Centre had no role to play in the implementation of the Supreme Court order,  told reporters here that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, was making all efforts to resolve the issue.

In Bangalore, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr S.M. Krishna, has sent out a request to the Prime Minister to convene an emergent meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to discuss the issue. Mr. Vajpayee is due to leave on Monday on a week-long tour of Cyprus, Denmark and the UK.

Karnataka Information Minister, K. Thimmappa, briefing the press after the Cabinet meeting, said the Cabinet noted that questions of any release from the reservoirs of Karnataka might not arise for consideration as disclosed in the affidavit filed by the state government before the Supreme Court on October 3.

The Supreme Court decision authorising the release of 9000 cusecs of water daily to the Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu has triggered bouts of violence in the districts of Mandya and Mysore where the agitation has been intensified. Reports from Bangalore said  protesters had gone on a rampage and removed fish plates on railway tracks. Road and rail traffic between Mysore and Bangalore were suspended following incidents of violence.

In Tamil Nadu, tensions were growing over the refusal of the Karnataka Government with star Rajnikant finding himself at the centre of a furious row over his advice to the film industry not to go ahead with their planned agitation in Neyveli on October 12.  In Chennai, students of a hostel burnt his effigy in protest against his stand that any efforts should be aimed at solving the problem and not at “deepening the crisis.”

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