The Karnataka government decided to petition the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC), seeking a review of its latest recommendation for the state to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the next 15 days, starting Wednesday (September 13).
In an emergency meeting of all party leaders convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday, it was unanimously decided to appeal before the CWRC and the Supreme Court, stating the state's inability to release any more water to Tamil Nadu owing to the severe rainfall deficit in August that has depleted the stored water in reservoirs.
"Karnataka is in no position to release water to Tamil Nadu as we have had rainfall deficit in August, the worst in the last 123 years. We will seek the opinion of our legal team and appeal before both the CWRC and the Supreme Court," said Siddaramaiah, while speaking to reporters after the crucial meeting, and added that his government would not hold any talks with his Tamil Nadu counterpart M.K. Stalin in this regard.
Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar stated that the all-party meeting had resolved to protect the interests of our farmers.
"The leaders from both the ruling and opposition parties have assured that they will fight for the cause of our farmers both inside and outside the Parliament. In a normal year, we would have released 90.8 tmc to Tamil Nadu as per the stipulated quota. But due to severe rainfall deficit this year, we managed to release only 37 tmc. As no distress formula has been evolved, leaders cutting across party lines should fight to protect the interests of the state," said Shivakumar.
Earlier, former chief minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy stressed the need to come up with a distress formula for water sharing.
"Currently, Karnataka is suffering all the distress and Tamil Nadu is not sharing the distress caused due to rainfall deficit. The CWRC has overlooked the extent of land under cultivation by Tamil Nadu, which is clear from this order. We cannot protect the interest of the state if our officers attend the CWMA and CWRC meetings online, while the officers from Tamil Nadu attend them in person and place facts and figures before the authority. The state government is not taking the Cauvery issue seriously. The state government had to oppose Tamil Nadu illegally extending its land under cultivation and also insist on serving a distress sharing formula. The government should not shed crocodile tears now," said Kumaraswamy.
Karnataka needs a total of 106 tmc of water for its sustenance, but the reservoirs have only 55 tmc of water at present.