CHENNAI: Rejecting Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s claim of poor storage in the dams of his State to deny Cauvery water for Tamil Nadu, angry farmers’ leaders have urged him to follow the principles of ‘distress sharing’ on a ‘pro-rata’ basis.
“Citing poor storage in Karnataka dams to deny due water for us is unfair and unacceptable. They must release our share from the available quantity stored in the reservoirs on a pro-rata basis,” stressed Mannargudi S Ranganathan, general secretary of the Tamilnadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association.
Talking to Express, he wondered where all the water flowed away within weeks of heavy downpour reported in the catchment areas of Krishnarajasagar dam. “A flood warning was issued on July 21 after a huge inflow into the KRS. Now, the Chief Minister is citing poor storage to deny water. Where did all the water flow away?” he questioned.
While flaying Siddaramaiah for denying water to the delta region of Tamil Nadu that is facing severe shortage, former MLA and president of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam K Balakrishnan said, “Karnataka is bound to discharge water into the Cauvery irrespective of the storage positions. The distress sharing formula must apply for the upper riparian State.”
They cannot keep water stored in the reservoirs for drinking water schemes when samba cultivation is in question in the delta region, he stated.
Welcoming the move of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa seeking legal recourse, Balakrishnan called for exploring other options, including taking up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a proactive manner to mount pressure on Karnataka. He informed that a meeting of various ryots’ organisations would be held in Chennai on August 27 to discuss the issue at length.
Ranganathan accused the Karnataka Chief Minister of taking the farmers here for a ride and called for unity among political parties and farmers’ organisations in the State to fight for its due share in the Cauvery.
“It’s high time our political leaders and ryots organisations realised the seriousness of the trouble brewing and put up a united fight to force the neighbouring state to release water,” he appealed.
Meanwhile PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss called for convening an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and decide upon the future course of action in the wake of Siddaramaiah’s attempt to paint a picture of distress in Karnataka.