CM Siddharamaiah holds hectic parleys in Delhi; All-party MPs urged to stand by State
Bengaluru/New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar held an important meeting with all the MPs from Karnataka in New Delhi this morning regarding the Cauvery River water sharing dispute wherein the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) has ordered the State Government to release 5,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till Sept. 27.
The meeting was held at Hotel Taj Mansingh and a few Cabinet colleagues of Siddharamaiah also attended. Except for Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, all MPs elected from the State were present.
Before the meeting, leaders from Karnataka sat with the MPs for a breakfast where the crisis situation was discussed in the wake of TN MPs lobbying in Delhi for more water.
Reports from Delhi at 1.30 pm said that Karnataka today (Sept. 20) filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on CWMA order. Siddharamaiah said a petition over the Cauvery row was pending in the Supreme Court.
“We have decided to approach the Court again and have filed a petition. The petition is expected to come up for hearing on Sept. 21. Apart from the Supreme Court, Karnataka has also filed a petition with the CWMA over its order,” the CM said.
CM Siddharamaiah and Deputy CM Shivakumar reached Delhi on Tuesday (Sept. 19) night. Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagwant Khuba, A. Narayanaswamy, Rajeev Chandrasekhar and other Supreme Court lawyers attended the meeting. Apart from the Cauvery dispute, State projects pending before the Central Government and drought relief issues were also discussed.
Addressing reporters after the meeting, Siddharamaiah said the order of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) will be challenged before the Supreme Court and a request for a stay on the order of releasing water to Tamil Nadu will be made.
He maintained that a meeting will be held with the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat this evening and a decision will be taken regarding the future steps on the dispute after the meeting. He sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Prime Minister has authority to summon the two States and hear them out. In this background, we have appealed for the intervention of the Prime Minister,” he stated.
Lack of distress formula
Speaking to the MPs and Ministers, Siddharamaiah stated, in the absence of a distress formula, the Cauvery River water sharing has become a crisis for Karnataka. “The question is not about releasing water, there is no water to release,” he underlined.
“We should all stand unitedly leaving aside party politics to save and protect Karnataka’s land, language, water and culture. We need 33 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water for drinking purposes, 70 tmcft for protecting standing crops and 3 tmcft for industries. The State requires 106 tmcft of water at any cost. In this situation, we have a storage of 53 tmcft only. There is no water to release to Tamil Nadu,” he said.
“The allocation of Cauvery River water is a complex issue requiring meticulous procedural management. Karnataka is seeking positive support from the Central Government to address the crisis. With the absence of a distress formula, the water crisis in Karnataka has intensified. We have conveyed our situation to both CWMA and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRA) but our pleas have not been considered.
In this situation, to safeguard the interest of the people, the Mekedatu project is inevitable. “To store our water on our land and to produce electricity, the Mekedatu project is needed,” the CM explained.
D.K. Shivakumar said that when it comes to the interests of the State, politics should not be done. All Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members should unite and place the demand before the Union Minister and Central Government.