A day after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked Karnataka to adhere to the directives of the Cauvery River Authority, Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna said his prime responsibility was to ensure "drinking water to his people."
Asked whether Karnataka would comply with the CRA directives if the Supreme Court asked it to do so, Krishna said: "We have always complied with Supreme Court directives and have substantially complied with the CRA orders."
While Karnataka had begun to comply with the CRA directive to release 0.8tmcft water to Tamil Nadu, it stopped the release of the water on September 18 after a farmer committed suicide by jumping into the Kabini reservoir in Mysore district.
The Supreme Court on Monday is likely to take up a contempt petition filed by Tamil Nadu against Karnataka for its failure to abide by the apex court's order to release water.
Krishna said the Cauvery River Monitoring Committee headed by Union Water Resources Secretary A K Goswami, which is likely to visit Karnataka on Monday to verify the water levels in the state's reservoirs, should see the condition of the standing crops in the state.
The committee, which would include chief secretaries of the two states, will submit a report to the prime minister in three days, official sources in Bangalore said.
The committee will visit Beligundulu guaging station and Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu to collect data on the release of water by Karnataka between September 4-18.
Meanwhile, DMK president and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi on Sunday declared that the reasons cited by the Karnataka government for not releasing Cauvery water to the state were not acceptable.
Talking to newsmen in Chennai, he said the current impasse in the Cauvery dispute was caused by the 'twin-track approach' adopted by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
"On the one hand, the chief minister has approached the courts, and on the other, she wants talks with Karnataka," Karunanidhi said.
With inputs from Fakir Chand in Bangalore and N Sathiya Moorthy in Chennai
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