Water rows: Meet with ex-CMs on Dec 6

Water rows: Meet with ex-CMs on Dec 6

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy

The government will convene a meeting of all former chief ministers and water resources ministers in Vidhana Soudha on December 6 to take a collective stand on inter-state water disputes.

This was the decision taken at an all-party meeting Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had convened to discuss the Mahadayi river water dispute.

“Everybody will have their own experience and opinions. We will elicit them in order to decide the way forward in the disputes pertaining to Cauvery, Krishna and Mahadayi rivers,” Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar told reporters.Karnataka has locked horns with Tamil Nadu on sharing water of Cauvery, with Goa and Maharashtra for Mahadayi and with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over Krishna.

As far as Mahadayi is concerned, the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal has allocated 13.42 tmcft to Karnataka, 1.33 tmcft to Maharashtra and 24 tmcft to Goa. Karnataka had sought 36.55. The government has already filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the Tribunal’s award.

“Our stand remains that we want a higher share. But now, we want to make use of whatever has been allocated for the benefit of farmers,” Shivakumar said.

The opposition BJP was represented by former water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai since the party’s floor leader B S Yeddyurappa had prior engagements.

“There should have been a meeting held before the SLP was filed, so that we could have discussed what aspects should be raised,” Bommai said. The government has decided to urge the Centre to issue a gazette notification on the Tribunal’s final award so that the water has been allocated to the state can be used.

“But notifying the allocation may be difficult since SLP has been filed. We’ve suggested the state’s legal team to make sure the SLP is disposed of soon,” Bommai said.

The fact that Andhra Pradesh had managed to get a stay order on Karnataka taking up stage three of the Upper Krishna project - to raise the height of the Almatti dam - was discussed.

“The government should get the stay vacated as soon as possible, because the project will help irrigate 13 lakh hectares,” Bommai said.