Can’t release Cauvery water to TN: Karnataka

Can’t release Cauvery water to TN: Karnataka

Karnataka has outright ruled out releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, in response to the Supreme Court seeking to know how much water the state can release.

“The four major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin hold only 9 tmcft of water, which is not enough to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs. Because we are facing a shortage, we cannot comply with the Supreme Court directive,” Water Resources Minister M B Patil said. “Our stand will be conveyed to the Supreme Court.”

On Thursday, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud initially asked Karnataka to release 4 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by May 8. Later, however, the bench directed the state to inform how much water it can release.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, too, said Karnataka was in no position to release Cauvery water. “We don’t have water to even drink. From where do we give them water? Sugarcane, paddy and other crops are drying up for want of water. We can’t give water,” he told reporters at Davangere.

In February, the apex court ordered additional intake of 14.75 tmcft of Cauvery waters for Karnataka by reducing the overall quantum of water for Tamil Nadu.