Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Thursday called on Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat here and informed him of the state’s inability to comply with the CWMA’s order of releasing 5,000 cusecs of water per day till September 28 to Tamil Nadu, citing a drought-like situation. The meeting came in the backdrop of protests by farmers bodies against the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu.
However, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with orders of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee directing the Karnataka government to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. During the meeting, the Deputy CM also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to resolve this matter by convening a meeting of four states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. BJP MPs, including union ministers Shobha Karanlaje, Bhagawanth Khuba and A Narayanswamy as well as state Congress ministers, were present in the meeting. ”All MPs have supported and the Jal Shakti Minister has assured justice will be given to the state. He has asked the state officials to provide the facts and they (Centre) are also waiting for the Supreme Court decision,” Shivakumar told reporters after the meeting. During the meeting, the minister informed that farmers and various organisations are protesting against the release of water to the neighbouring state. Karnataka is facing water shortage due to lack of monsoon rainfall. The state needs more than 106 TMC of water for not only drinking but for irrigation and industries. However, there is only 51 TMC of water in four reservoirs at present. The inflow of water is reducing day-by-day. The state has lost the kharif crop and it will be a difficult situation for the rabi crops as well, he said. Shivakumar further said that the state government was able to comply with earlier orders issued by the CWMA. The latest one issued on September 18 is not possible to comply.
However, the state government is releasing about 4,000 cusecs of water per day to the neighbouring state, he said. ”Though Tamil Nadu is aware of the distressing situation, I think they have used the opportunity to have more crops. But we don’t want to intervene on that issue. We feel that Karnataka is facing a lot of problems,” he added. Shivakumar informed the central minister that the state in August faced a rainfall shortage for the first time in 123 years. In times of distress, there is no formula to decide how much water is to be released for Tamil Nadu. On Wednesday, the state government had held a meeting with all MPs of Karnataka and sought their support on this issue.