Karnataka RajyaRaitha Sangha calls for Highway bandh on Aug. 22
Mandya: Brace up for a significant blockade of the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway on both Aug. 21 (Monday) and Aug. 22 (Tuesday), as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Karnataka RajyaRaitha Sangha (parent organisation) have declared a bandh to protest against the Congress Government’s decision to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu (TN).
In an effort to bolster their protest tomorrow morning, BJP leaders and party members are planning to mobilise a substantial number of farmers along the Expressway near Induvalu bypass, Yeliyur Circle and in the vicinity of Amaravathi Hotel. Similarly, Raitha Sangha activists intend to stage a Highway blockade on Aug. 22 at Induvalu at 10.30 am.
At a time when Karnataka is facing drinking water shortage, the Congress Government is releasing water for irrigation in Tamil Nadu, they alleged.
Irrigation authorities have activated the crest gates to discharge over 20,000 cusecs of water from Kabini and Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam, with KRS alone releasing between 13,000 and 15,000 cusecs. Meanwhile, inflow into the Stanley Reservoir in Mettur has surged to 13,110 cusecs and is projected to reach 20,000 cusecs soon.
Mettur Dam’s water level presently stands at 54.40 feet, a considerable distance from its full capacity of 120 feet. The storage level is currently at 20.69 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet), significantly below its full capacity of 93.47 tmcft. In comparison, the Mettur Dam boasts nearly double the capacity of the KRS Dam, which can store 49.452 tmcft.
The decision to stage a Highway bandh by the BJP was taken during a meeting of party members from five districts held at the Mandya District BJP office yesterday.
At the meeting, former MLC Ashwathnarayan Gowda criticised the Siddharamaiah Government’s move to provide water for Tamil Nadu’s Kuruvai crop, considering it a betrayal of Karnataka farmers’ interests.
He pointed out that, “When the Congress was not in power, its members organised a padayatra to Mekedatu, advocating for water for Karnataka. This action to release water now reveals the Congress’ double standards.”
Water release to promote I.N.D.I.A
Various speakers at the meeting, including former Chamaraja MLA L. Nagendra, alleged that Karnataka Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar had an undisclosed agreement with Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin due to their membership in the I.N.D.I.A alliance, thereby sacrificing the interests of Karnataka farmers.
The speakers said that former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and a host of BJP leaders would actively participate in tomorrow’s protest. They extended an appeal to Kannada organisations and farmers, urging them to join the demonstration.
Additionally, they contended that the State Government overlooked the water scarcity in Karnataka’s reservoirs. “Numerous farmer representatives from Mysuru, Mandya and other districts, along with farmers and taxi drivers, have been invited to participate in the protest,” they stated.
Mandya MP SumalathaAmbarish implored individuals from all political backgrounds to unite in protest against the injustice of releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. She asserted that standing with the farmers and advocating for their rights was crucial.
She acknowledged the historical pattern wherein judgements consistently favoured Tamil Nadu whenever there was a rain deficit, resulting in adversity for Karnataka. She urged everyone not to politicise the issue and emphasised its relevance to the farming community. She stressed the necessity for unity, particularly since the Central Government seemed to favour Tamil Nadu and she called for a sustainable resolution to the Cauvery dispute.
Present at the meeting were Mandya BJP President C.P. Umesh, MLC A. Devegowda, former MLA C.S. Niranjan Kumar, as well as leaders Dr.Siddaramaiah, Rajendra, Rajesh, and Kaveesh Gowda, among others.
Karnataka to move SC tomorrow
The Karnataka Cabinet yesterday made a directive for the Advocate-General (AG) to file a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday (Aug. 21) seeking the Court’s guidance in compelling the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to review its mandate requiring Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu.
H.K. Patil, the Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, conveyed to the press following a Cabinet meeting that the AG was present during the session and was tasked with submitting the petition to the Apex Court, urging an expedited consideration of the issue. “We invited the AG to the Cabinet meeting and held discussions in detail. We instructed him to prepare a detailed report on the situation due to the weak monsoon and the availability of water in our reservoirs to register our appeal beforethe Supreme Court ,” Patil told reporters.