Can't release water to Tamil Nadu, State to tell Cauvery River Authority

Can't release water to Tamil Nadu, State to tell Cauvery River Authority

Can't release water to Tamil Nadu, State to tell Cauvery River Authority

Details on the drought situation in all the 44 taluks of the State’s Cauvery basin, the low water levels in the reservoirs and scarcity of drinking water will be placed before the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to make it clear that the State government is not in a position to release water as being demanded by Tamil Nadu.

The CRA is scheduled to meet on September 19 in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Sing to discuss sharing of the river water, including Tamil Nadu’s demand for two tmc feet more water from River Cauvery.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday chaired a meeting of MPs from the Cauvery basin, floor leaders of political parties in the State legislature and top advocates to finalise the government’s stand on the issue at the CRA meet.

Speaking to reporters later, Shettar said: “The enormity of the drought situation and the severe shortage of drinking water in the State will be brought to the notice of the prime minister. We will substantiate our position with facts and figures and tell the meeting that we cannot meet Tamil Nadu’s demand,” Shettar said. An all-party meeting earlier this week had resolved to urge the CRA to evolve a distress formula based on ground realities on sharing of the river water with Tamil Nadu and other riparian states.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah said the present water stock in the reservoirs was not even sufficient to maintain the standing crops in the Cauvery basin in the State. “Tamil Nadu’s demand cannot be fulfilled as south west monsoon has failed and the State is in distress. Tamil Nadu has water reserves enough for more than 45 days, in Mettur dam. Besides, October to December is the rainy season in Tamil Nadu and there is every chance of the situation improving,” Siddaramaiah said.

Mandya MP N Chaluvaray­aswamy said the government should stop releasing 10,000 cusecs of water every day (a goodwill gesture announced by the State government) to Tamil Nadu after September 19.

Mandya bandh total

The Mandya bandh called to protest against release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on Saturday was total.

The bandh call was given by the Zilla Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti and other organisations. The protesters blocked the road and wore black bands to register their protest. They also formed human chains and took out a motorcycle rally, reports DHNS from Mandya.

Streets in the city wore a deserted look and many shops had downed their shutters to extend support to the bandh.

No movies were screened in any of the theatres. Members of Kannada Sahitya Parishat blocked Mysore-Bangalore Highway, while advocates joined the protest by forming a human chains. Members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike burnt effigies of Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha near the City bus stand.

Zilla Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti president G Madegowda, former minister M S Athmananda, legislator M Srinivas, former legislator K T Srikantegowda, City Municipal Council president M P Arun and others participated in the protest. 

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