Cauvery row: State’s interest tops Shettar’s list
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Thursday said that he would meet the advocates representing Karnataka at the Supreme Court (SC) in the Cauvery row and try to convince the apex court that there was not enough storage in the dams to release 2.44 tmc ft water to Tamil Nadu.
Making a statement in the state Assembly soon after the Congress and JD (S) members brought to the notice of the government the SC’s directive to release water to TN, Shettar said the water available in the Cauvery basin was sufficient to meet the drinking water requirements of Bangalore City, Mysore and 30 towns.
“While continuing legal battle to protect interest of farmers, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai and I will meet the advocates and ask them to explain to the apex court the difficulties in releasing water to TN in the current situation,” said Shettar.
The CM sought to clarify that the advocates had been holding discussion with the government and had already conveyed to the court about the ground reality.
“We have explained in detail the severity of drought, failure of rain, water storage in dams in the Cauvery River Authority meeting. The state chief secretary has also presented facts and figures in CMC meeting. Our advocates have also filed an affidavit in the court explaining the grave situation in Karnataka,” he added. Bommai said as on Thursday, Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir has a live storage of 6.9 tmc ft, Hemavathi Reservoir 5.4 tmc ft and Kabini Reservoir 1.1 tmc ft. “In Tamil Nadu, Mettur Dam has a live storage of 8.4 tmc ft and Bhavani has 3.3 tmc,” he said, adding that Karnataka required nearly 12.5 tmc ft exclusively to meet drinking water requirements in the the next three months.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah said Bangalore, which has a population of around one crore, requires two tmc ft of water per month and also Mysore city and 45 towns are dependent on the Cauvery water. He wanted Shettar and Bommai to immediately go to Delhi and ask the advocates to file another interim application in court explaining difficulties in complying with the directive. “It it not a natural justice to ask us to release 2.44 tmc ft to Tamil Nadu. I am not asking to defy the SC directive but explain how difficult it is to release water to TN at this juncture,” he added. JD(S) floor leader H D Revanna said 12 tmc ft is available in Cauvery basin.