‘Not possible to release Cauvery water to TN’

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday shot off a letter to the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat, stating it is not possible to release the Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu pushing farmers, people and livestock of his state into crisis.

Siddaramaiah underlined, “It is not possible to implement the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) order by pushing the farmers, livestock and people who depend on Cauvery water for drinking purposes into crisis.”

It is not possible to release 5,000 cusecs of water for 15 days from the KRS and Kabini dams through Biligundlu as per committee’s decision, he said. He had also requested the Union Minister Shekawat to protect the interest of the people of the state and the livestock. Karnataka had complied with the earlier order of the committee, and presently majority of taluks are facing drought due to failure of Monsoon rains, he said.

“From June to mid – September, Tamil Nadu had utilised 100 tmc of water. The utilisation is more than 1987-88, 2002-03, 2012-13, 2016-17 and 2017-18 in the drought period. Though water levels in Karnataka dams are lowest, the crop cultivation is taken up in Tamil Nadu on a large scale,” Siddaramaiah said.

As per the prediction of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), there are no chances of rain between September 12 and 24. On September 12, in Tamil Nadu’s Mettur dam, the water storage level was 24.233 tmc.

If the released water is taken into the account, there is enough water available to fulfil the needs of Tamil Nadu, Siddaramaiah said. There is a requirement of 70 tmc of water for standing crops, 33 tmc of water for drinking water and 3 tmc of water for industries.

“Our storage is only 53 tmc and it is not sufficient to fulfill the requirements,” Siddaramaiah said. The Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to file another petition before the CWRC to underline the state’s current situation leading to its inability to release water to Tamil Nadu.

Siddaramaiah said a decision in this regard was taken during an all-party meeting held here on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Siddaramaiah said, “The petition will also be submitted to the Supreme Court and the existing situation would be explained. And regarding the release of 5,000 cusecs of water and filing of a petition before the Supreme Court, Deputy CM D. K. Shivakumar would go to Delhi and discuss the matter with the legal team.”

The Chief Minister further said a letter would also be written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking appointment for the all-party delegation from the state on the issue.