Cauvery CM confident of convincing authority

Cauvery CM confident of convincing authority

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has ruled out releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from the State’s reservoirs and has said that the government will make every effort to convince the Centre of the State’s inability to release water to the lower riparian state.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Shettar said the State had made all preparations to present its case effectively at the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) meeting to be held on September 19 (Wednesday) in New Delhi, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Shettar will arrive in Delhi on September 18 for prior discussions with the State’s senior counsel Fali S Nariman over the State’s stand.

“The State is reeling under acute drought. Out of 145 drought-hit taluks, 42 are in the Cauvery delta. We don’t have water to meet our own needs and it is not possible to release water to Tamil Nadu,” Shettar said.

The chief minister said there was total political consensus in the State over not releasing water to Tamil Nadu. He has had discussions with the floor leaders of the legislature, MPs and MLAs of the Cauvery basin and the stand of everyone was the same - no release of water.

Fuel hike

Though Shettar was critical of the Centre’s decision to hike diesel price by Rs 5 per litre, he was non-committal on reducing the State taxes on it. However, he promised to look in to the suggestion to reduce the taxes on diesel to lessen the burden on the common man. He said he would discuss it with the finance department officials, before taking a decision.

Asked about the All India bandh call given by the BJP-led NDA on September 20 against the fuel price hike and the cap on the number of LPG cylinders per connection, the chief minister said the State would take all measures to ensure law and order that day.