BENGALURU: THE state government has decided to convey to the Supreme Court its inability to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
The decision was taken at an all-party meeting convened by the Siddaramaiah government on Saturday.
Tamil Nadu had approached the Supreme Court demanding release of 50 tmcft water for irrigation. The matter will be heard by the apex court on September 2.
Addressing a press conference after the all-party meeting, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the present storage available in the Cauvery basin was 51 tmcft and 40 tmcft of it was required to meet drinking needs of Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and surrounding areas.
“There has been no rain in the catchment areas. With only 51 tmcft of water, we can’t afford to release water to Tamil Nadu. We have standing crops like sugarcane and we have to meet the irrigation needs of these crops. This is the reality. Fulfilling our drinking water and irrigation needs will leave no water for us at all,” Siddaramaiah said.
He said all the parties shared the same view. “During the next hearing, we will inform the Supreme Court of the ground situation and we will convey this to the lawyers shortly,” he added.
Siddaramaiah said the total capacity of Kabini, Hemavathi, Harangi and KRS dams in the Cauvery basin was 114 tmcft and usable water was 104 tmcft. “The inflow of water into these dams has been affected due to poor rains. We should have received 195.25 tmcft of water by August 24, but only 108 tmcft has accumulated. Since the water inflow is at 55 per cent, we only have 51 tmcft for use,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said he had conveyed his inability to supply water to a delegation from TN which met him recently.
He said Tamil Nadu’s appeal to the Supreme Court was based on the average rainfall received in the state, and that Karnataka had received below average rainfall.
“We have released 29 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu and they have about 34 tmcft in Mettur dam. But they are demanding more water,” he said.
“When there is no water, we can’t do anything,” said Congress leader Mallikarjun M Kharge. JD (S) president H D Kumaraswamy said, “We support the government. When the issue comes up for hearing, we should argue correctly. ”
Union minister H N Ananth Kumar, BJP leaders D V Sadananda Gowda and K S Eshwarappa were among those who attended the meet