'State ready to face TN legally over Cauvery'

'State ready to face TN legally over Cauvery'

'State ready to face TN legally over Cauvery'

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said the state government is ready to legally face Tamil Nadu’s decision to file an interim petition in the Supreme Court seeking release of the Cauvery river water.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said the state is not in a position to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as specified in the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal due to deficient rainfall and low levels in the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin.  

He said Karnataka had always been abiding by the tribunal award whenever there were good rains. However, the depleted storage in the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin -the KRS, the Kabini, the Harangi and the Hemavathi-had rendered the state in a position that it would not even be able to abide by the distress formula, he said.

“We are facing a distress year. The total capacity of the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin is 114 tmcft, but the availability is only 52 tmcft. We require 40 tmcft to meet the drinking water requirement of Bengaluru alone”, Siddaramaiah said. Farmers in the Cauvery basin have been requested to move from paddy and sugarcane to less water-intensive crops such as oilseeds, pulses and millets.

“Tamil Nadu should understand the ground reality. If there is no water available, what can we do?,” the chief minister said. Good rains in the coming days were the only solution to the present crisis, he said. Siddaramaiah ruled out holding  talks with Tamil Nadu stating that it is a “closed chapter”.

“Tamil Nadu has decided to take the issue to court and we will face it legally,” he said.


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