Can't spare water for TN, Karnataka tells Centre

Can't spare water for TN, Karnataka tells Centre

Can't spare water for TN, Karnataka tells Centre

The State government on Wednesday once again informed the Centre that it was not in a position to abide by the order of Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to release 9,000 cusec of water to Tamil Nadu every day due to the prevailing drought in the basin region.

In its reply to the Union Water Resources Ministry’s letter asking it to release water in line with the CRA order, the State government has expressed its inability to do so by explaining in detail the prevailing drought conditions in the region.

The Union Water Resource Ministry had asked the State to release 9,000 cusec of water every day to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15, as ordered by the CRA headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Karnataka has already filed a review petition before the CRA against its order.

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the government has explained the deteriorating drinking water situation, declining inflow of water and dwindling water storage at the four reservoirs of the Cauvery river. “We have made it abundantly clear that the situation in the basin region will deteriorate if more water is released to Tamil Nadu,” he added.

The State, the minister said, has also pointed out that Tamil Nadu still has hope as it will receive rains through the north-east monsoon which will commence from October.

Whereas, the south-west monsoon season is over, and Karnataka will not get any more rains, he added.

A final decision from the legal point of view on the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu will be taken on Thursday when Chief minister Jagdish Shettar will meet the Karnataka legal team.

Highly placed sources in the State government, told Deccan Herald in New Delhi that there was no change in the State’s stand that it would not release water to Tamil Nadu. It may urge the Centre send a team to assess the ground situation in the State.

Reacting to a news item published in these columns on Wednesday under the headline, “Wrong to defy CRA order: Lawyers,”, Karnataka’s standing counsel on Cauvery Mohan Katarki said: “Yesterday (September 25), the legal team led by Fali S Nariman had discussions on the letter sent by the CRA (Cauvery River Authority) dated 24.9.2012 informing that TN’s comments are sought on review petition. Nariman had telephonic talk with the chief minister on the legal implications of the order of CRA for releases.

The state’s stand will be finalised tomorrow when the CM and officials meet the legal team.” The sources said the ground situation compelled the State not to release water.

“When the CRA meeting was held (September 19), there was some inflow into the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin and total storage stood at 76 tmc ft of water.  As on today, these inflows have completely stopped and storage has come down to 72 tmc ft,” sources said.

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