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Prodded by SC, Shettar, Jaya to meet

Bangalore/Chennai, Nov 27, 2012, DHNS: 1:02 IST

The CMs will meet on Thursday to resolve Cauvery water dispute

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar. File photo
A day after the Supreme Court suggested that the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments resolve the Cauvery water dispute through talks, chief ministers of the two riparian states on Tuesday agreed to meet in Bangalore on November 29.

“The meeting of the two chief ministers has been tentatively fixed at 3 pm on November 29. A team of experts and top officials will accompany the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister (Jayalalitha) during her visit,” Karnataka Chief Secretary S V Ranganath said in Bangalore.
An official statement in Chennai on Tuesday confirmed Jayalalitha’s visit to the Karnataka capital. The chief minister-level talks are being held after nearly 15 years.

An advance team from Tamil Nadu comprising senior officers is likely to land in Bangalore on Wednesday evening. Official sources said the Karnataka government is likely to convey to its counterpart that it was not in a position to release water.

Speaking with Deccan Herald, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the state government would make arrangements to ensure the meeting is held in a “cordial and friendly” atmosphere.

“We have already made our position clear before the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) and the Supreme Court about the shortage of inflow in our side of the Cauvery basin due to weak monsoon. We will place facts and figures and try to convince Tamil Nadu about our limitations,” Bommai said.

Asked whether the State government would discuss on arriving at a “distress-sharing formula” with Tamil Nadu as the row over water sharing escalates when rains fail, Bommai said the issue could be discussed only at the CRA.

Shettar is scheduled to meet Basavaraj Bommai, irrigation experts and senior officials of the government on Wednesday to prepare for the meeting on Thursday.

On Monday, the Supreme Court suggested that the chief ministers meet, in the course of the hearing of Tamil Nadu’s petition seeking direction to Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water every day for 15 days as directed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who presided over the meeting of the Cauvery River Authority on September 19. Tamil Nadu has also filed a fresh plea, seeking direction to Karnataka to release 52.8 tmc ft of water till February 2013.

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