Karnataka to go by Cauvery allotment
Bangalore (PTI): Karnataka has decided to fall in line with the directive of the Supreme Court which asked it to release 1.25 tmc ft of Cauvery water daily to Tamil Nadu but sought immediate convening of the Cauvery River Authority meeting to resolve the dispute.
“We honour the directive of the Supreme Court,” Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna said at the end of day-long deliberations, including two Cabinet meetings and an all-party meet, to discuss the situation arising out of Tuesday’s order.
The Cabinet decided to request the Prime Minister to convene the river authority meeting immediately to solve the issue taking into account the present availability of water in the four reservoirs of the Cauvery basin to protect the “immediate and long term” interests of the farmers in the state.
sserting that the government was committed to protecting the interests of the farmers, the statement said: “It would not be possible to sacrifice the interests of farmers under any circumstances.”
Our special correspondent from Chennai adds that with the Karnataka deciding to respect the court directive, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa said water from the Mettur reservoir would be let out for irrigation from September 6 to help farmers for their Samba rice crop. “This is in anticipation of inflows into the Mettur reservoir from Karnataka,” she added.
Kerala repeals power-hike fiat
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has withdrawn the steep hike in electricity charges effected by it last week, reports our special correspondent.
The decision followed widespread popular resentment against the hike, which was capitalised by the CPM-led Opposition, and also created internal problems within the Congress-led ruling coalition.
The Opposition had launched a violent agitation leading to clashes between police and its workers over the past week.
The Opposition’s contention was that the hike was imposed at the behest of Asian Development Bank which has called for power sector reforms in order to sanction a loan for infrastructure development of the state. The first instalment of the loan is expected in October.
The problems in the ruling United Democratic Front over the hike had manifested immediately after the decision when ministers attending the meeting imposing the hike criticised the decision outside — in party and public meetings.
Magsaysay cash return
New Delhi: Magsaysay winner Sandeep Pandey has declined to accept the cash reward of $50000 given along with the award, reports our correspondent. He was chosen in the emergent leadership category and the 39th Indian to receive the award.
Pandey said his decision was motivated by the objections raised by some people in Philippines who said that if “I oppose the US government and its policy then I should not accept any money from an American institute”. The cash emolument is offered by the Ford Foundation of the US.
Chennai (PTI): A Prevention of Terrorism Act court on Wednesday extended MDMK general secretary Vaiko’s judicial remand till September 30. He was taken back to Vellore prison. Vaiko was arrested on his return from the US on July 11 for pro-LTTE remarks at a public meeting in Thirumangalam near Madurai on June 29.
Bangkok (AP): Thai police rescued an Indian businessman abducted for ransom and arrested six suspected gangsters on charges of kidnapping and extortion. Officers raided a rented apartment on Tuesday to free Rajiv Kumar Arora, 32. The suspects, including a soldier, have been remanded in police custody.
British travel alert
London (PTI): Declaring that there remained a risk of Indo-Pak conflict, Britain has issued fresh advice to its citizens against travelling to those areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab which are close to the border. However, “We do not advise against travel to Amritsar, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner or Jaisalmer,” the foreign and commonwealth office statement said.
New Delhi (PTI): On the eve of his 100th test, Sachin Tendulkar received a gift from the government which waived the import duty on the Ferrari sports car gifted to the maestro by Fiat. Tendulkar, who was handed over the car by Formula One ace Michael Schumacher, appealed to the government for the waiver of the duty.
Minster in court
Dehra Dun (PTI): Union minister M. Kannappan appeared before a court here as a witness in a theatre burning case, police said. The incident occurred during an agitation at Negumam in 1981. The case has been posted for September 16.
As many as 284 teachers from across the country have been selected for the National Awards for Teachers. The highlight this year is that 12 teachers are being honoured specially for promoting education among children with disabilities.