Unable to release water to TN, Karnataka to move Cauvery Panel
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Unable to release water to TN, Karnataka to move Cauvery Panel

September 14, 2023

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddharamaiah yesterday said that the State will once again file a petition before the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), expressing its inability to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

The Chief Minister, who held a ‘special emergency meeting’ yesterday at the Conference Hall of Vidhana Soudha, said the Government will consult its legal team regarding releasing water and take a decision and will also once again file a petition in the Supreme Court explaining the factual situation on the ground.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting here, he said, “…we will consult the legal team whether to release 5,000 cusecs per day or not. Deputy Chief Minister D.K.  Shivakumar is going to Delhi to discuss this with the legal team and also regarding filing a petition. Keeping all this in mind, we will make a decision afterwards.”

Other than Shivakumar, who is also the Minister in-charge of Water Resources, Ministers of the Cauvery basin region, former Chief Ministers of all parties, senior Ministers of the State Cabinet, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members were invited to participate in the emergency meeting. MPs such as BJP’s Pratap Simha, P.C. Mohan, Shivkumar Udasi and Sumalatha Ambarish (Independent) participated.

Siddharamaiah said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking time to lead an all-party delegation, but there has been no response so far.

“I will once again write another letter to the PM explaining to him about the factual position on ground, if he gives time, we will go and meet him,” the CM said.

“As there is no water in our reservoirs this year, we have till Sept. 11 only released 37.7 tmcft water, while we had to actually release more than 99 tmcft by then. To save our standing crops we are now not able to release water fully,” he said.

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“We need 70  tmcft water for crops, 33 tmcft for drinking, 3 tmcft for industry. So, we need 106 tmcft water. But, we only have 53 tmcft from four reservoirs in Cauvery basin — KRS, Kabini, Hemavathi and Harangi — so it is not enough and that is why I said, we are not in a position to release water to Tamil Nadu,” he added.

TN to continue legal battle

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Water Resource Minister Duraimurugan has reiterated that the Tamil Nadu Government would continue its legal battle to get the due share of Cauvery water.

“Karnataka requested the CWRC to reconsider its order to release 5,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu for the next 15 days. We asked the Committee not to consider the Karnataka Government’s representation and insisted on continuing the release of 5,000 cusecs of water,” Duraimurugan told media persons yesterday.

On Karnataka CM Siddharamaiah’s remark that they would approach the Supreme Court, Duraimurugan said that the TN Government would also approach the Apex Court.

“The Supreme Court is our last resort. We will approach the Top Court and our legal team will put forth our demand. The hearing of the case will come on Sept. 21,” he said.

Not right to drag PM Modi’s name to do politics: MP Simha

Mysuru-Kodau MP Pratap Simha has supported the State Government in safeguarding the interest of farmers. But he opposed the move to force Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to resolve the dispute.

“Tamil Nadu takes all legal routes and our State Government too should follow suit. I am committed to support whatever decision that will be taken by the State. The Supreme Court has already delivered its final verdict on the Cauvery dispute in 2018. As such, it is not right to drag the Prime Minister’s name into this and do politics,” Simha said.

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Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambarish said, “When my husband Ambarish was the Union Minister when Congress Prime Minister was at the helm, the issue could not be resolved. That forced Ambarish to resign from the Minister’s post to stand by farmers of Mandya.”

She alleged that the present Congress Government has not competently defended its case for years either with the authorities or Supreme Court.

“We should have been as aggressive as Tamil Nadu, which filed the application before the Supreme Court, which we should have also done,” she told reporters after the meeting.


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