Bengaluru / New Delhi: A meeting to address the Cauvery dispute convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, comprising Union Ministers and All-Party MPs from Karnataka, commenced on Wednesday in New Delhi.
Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who heads the Water Resources Department, along with Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagwant Khooba, Narayanaswamy, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and other Supreme Court lawyers and officials, are participating in the discussion.
The primary focus of the meeting revolves around determining measures to safeguard the state’s interests and effectively manage the challenging situation regarding the sharing of Cauvery River water.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah emphasized the complexity of distributing Cauvery water due to the absence of a crisis resolution formula. He stressed that it is not a matter of withholding water, but rather a scarcity that Karnataka faces. He urged everyone to transcend party politics and unite to safeguard the interests of Kannada land, language, water, and culture.
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Currently, the state requires 33 TMC ft for drinking water, 70 TMC ft for crop protection, 3 TMC ft for industries, totaling 106 TMC ft. Unfortunately, only 53 TMC of water is available. Consequently, there is insufficient water for release to Tamil Nadu, he said.
To comply with the Supreme Court directive, Karnataka has to release 108.4 TMC ft of water. This year, the state could manage to release 39.8 TMC ft only due to the water shortage, placing the state in a precarious situation, he added.
Given these circumstances, the Mekedatu project is imperative to efficiently protect the welfare of the people of Karnataka. The establishment of facilities for water storage, electricity generation, and the Mekedatu project are viewed as potential solutions in the near future, the CM said.
Deputy Chief Minister and Water Resources Minister, DK Shivakumar, emphasized the need for unity among all MPs and Rajya Sabha members in presenting a unified demand to the Union Minister on behalf of the state. He underscored the importance of collectively pressuring the center for positive assistance in resolving the issue.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members from the state, MLAs, Ministers, and the legal team are actively participating in the proceedings.