Bound to send water to Tamil Nadu, says DK Shivakumar
Shivakumar asked Tamil Nadu to be a little soft on Karnataka as it was aware of the rain deficit and that the state was facing a grim situation.
BENGALURU: Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Friday clarified that the government cannot accede to Opposition parties’ demand to not release 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, as the decision was taken keeping in view the court’s directions.
He asked Tamil Nadu, which utilised 80 per cent more water than its quota last year, to soften its stand towards Karnataka, which is facing a grim drinking water situation. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to Wednesday, the hearing of Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking the release of 24,000 cusecs of water per day from Karnataka.
“It cannot be done that way (by not releasing water) as we should keep the court in mind. Legal experts advised that we should first put facts before the authorities and then approach the Supreme Court. At the 23rd meeting of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), we have mentioned that Tamil Nadu utilised excess water,” he told reporters.
Now that water has been released, what matters is how much will flow to Biligundlu by the date given by CWMA. “Since it rained in Bengaluru yesterday, that water will also go there through the Arkavathi river,” he said. The government will protect the interests of farmers and ensure water for drinking in Bengaluru and Mysuru, he said.
He said the government held a meeting with former chief minister Basavaraj Bommai as he was insisting that water should not be released. “Bommai was water resources minister but still talks like that. We held discussions but we did not reveal what was discussed. Let us work together for the welfare of the state. We will seek a date (with PM Modi) to take the all-party delegation,” he stated.
Shivakumar asked Tamil Nadu to be a little soft on Karnataka as it was aware of the rain deficit and that the state was facing a grim situation. “Last year, they used 80 per cent more than their quota of water,” he added.
He reiterated that since the officials had argued the case competently, CWMA has directed the release of 5,000 cusecs of water. “We respect the direction but requested CWMA officials to visit our dams and note the facts,” he added.
He said Karnataka will try to convince Tamil Nadu to agree to the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project as it is the only solution to the Cauvery water-sharing issue between the two states.