BENGALURU: Karnataka has expressed its inability to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as stipulated by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as the storage in its reservoirs is ‘precariously low’.
“We have released water to Tamil Nadu whenever we had good storage. But at present we ourselves are facing severe water problem for even drinking purpose. We will convey our inability to release water to the court,” Siddaramaiah said replying to a question from reporters on Tamil Nadu approaching the Supreme Court seeking a direction to Karnataka to release water.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra too reiterated the state’s stand. “We have to release water to Tamil Nadu in accordance with the Tribunal’s order. But how can we release water when there is no rain and storage is poor in the reservoirs? We will present the complete details on deficient rains, poor storage, drinking water needs and the decision not to release water for our own farmers to the Supreme Court,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu government has moved the Supreme Court for an urgent directive to Karnataka to release 50.052 tmcft of Cauvery water to standing crops in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has accused Karnataka of diverting the water meant to be a life-saver for Tamil Nadu farmers during distress years for undeclared projects in violation of the final orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in 2007.
The petition has contended that Tamil Nadu had not received 10 daily/monthly releases of water from June 1 to August 19, 2016, causing a cumulative shortfall of 50.052 tmcft at Biligundlu monitoring station.