Will give water but support us on Mekedatu, Karnataka tells Tamil Nadu

Reiterating that there should be no confrontation over sharing water, Shivakumar said water will be released based on rain and availability. 
Representational image of Mekedatu. (File photo| EPS)
Representational image of Mekedatu. (File photo| EPS)

BENGALURU/CHENNAI:  Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said his state is committed to releasing 10 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu, but TN must also cooperate in implementing the Mekedatu project as it would be beneficial to both the states.

The announcement came a day after Tamil Nadu approached the Supreme Court with a plea to direct Karnataka to release 24,000 cusecs of water every day to save standing crops in the state.  One tmcft or thousand million cubic feet is equal to 2.8 billion litres.

Speaking to reporters after taking part in the Independence Day celebration at the Karnataka Congress office, Shivakumar, who is also the minister for water resources, said the state had already released water to Tamil Nadu. Reiterating that there should be no confrontation over sharing water, Shivakumar said water will be released based on rain and availability. 

Expressing displeasure over Tamil Nadu not supporting the Mekedatu project, the deputy CM said 400 tmcft of water had flowed into the sea last year and TN should cooperate in implementing the Mekedatu project as it would help Karnataka to release water whenever there is rain deficit.

TN should support Mekedatu since it will also benefit: DKS

“It is in times such as these that the project helps us to release water. The Mekedatu project benefits Tamil Nadu and hence it should support the reservoir project,” Shivakumar said.

Reacting to the announcement, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss called it a strategic attempt by Karnataka to save itself from Supreme Court strictures for not complying with the Cauvery tribunal and the apex court. Ramadoss said despite having 92 tmcft of water in its dams, Karnataka is refusing to release 65 tmcft needed for Tamil Nadu. The state government must takethe Supreme Court, Ramadoss said.

Last week, Tamil Nadu water resources minister Duraimurugan said from June 1 till August 11, Karnataka should have released 53.7703 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu but it had released just 15.7993 tmcft leaving a deficit of 37.9710 tmcft.

Duraimurugan had also pointed out that the combined water level in the four dams in Karnataka Cauvery basin stood at 93.535 tmcft against their total capacity of 114.571 tmcft, which was 82% of the storage level.

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