Mysore/Mysuru: Facing the heat of today’s Bengaluru bandh over Cauvery water sharing, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah has expressed his view that the absence of a “distress formula” that would benefit both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is the key reason behind the dispute’s prolonged existence without an amicable solution.
Speaking to the media at Mysuru Airport this morning, Siddharamaiah stated, “Karnataka is bound by the Supreme Court (SC) order to release 177.25 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu. However, there is no distress formula in the event of any failure in the rainy season, which would have a cascading effect on the storage of adequate water in Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Reservoir in Mandya, making it difficult to release water to Tamil Nadu.”
The distress formula can be worked out through negotiations, which would be possible with the intervention of the Prime Minister, he added.
Another potential solution to address the drinking water crisis is the implementation of the Mekedatu Project, involving the construction of a balancing reservoir in Kanakapura, Ramanagara District, where 67 tmcft of water can be stored. Apart from preventing water wastage, this project would also help alleviate Bengaluru’s drinking water crisis, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah explained.
Regarding allegations from Opposition parties that blame the Congress Government for failing to effectively argue the case in the Supreme Court, Siddharamaiah responded, “Such statements are politically motivated, as it is the same legal team that has handled the Cauvery case in the Apex Court since it was formed during the tenure of Chief Minister H.D. Deve Gowda.”
In response to BJP’s ‘Chaddi Rally’ in Mandya, organised in protest against the Cauvery dispute, Siddharamaiah criticised the 25 BJP MPs elected from Karnataka, stating that none of them have made any efforts to find a solution to the dispute.
Addressing the bandh call, Siddharamaiah noted, “According to the Supreme Court, there is no provision to observe a bandh. However, any forms of protest or Movement fall under the fundamental rights of the people. However, while exercising our fundamental rights, there is a chance of infringing upon others’ rights too.”