Belgaum, Dec 6: In the wake of Supreme Court directing Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Thursday said he would lead a MPs team from the Cauvery Basin to meet the Prime Minister for apprising him of the distress situation in his State.
“I am leading a delegation of MPs from Cauvery basin tomorrow to hold talks with Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is also Cauvery River Authority Chairman, to apprise them of the prevailing distress situation in Karnataka,” Mr Shettar said in the Assembly.
The delegation would brief them on the “poignant situation” in the State which is hit by drought and water shortage, Mr Shettar said, adding that they would also seek legal opinion and views of experts before deciding the next step.
In an interim relief to Tamil Nadu, the apex court had yesterday directed Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu and also asked the Cauvery Monitoring Committee to meet on December 7 or December 8 to decide the water requirements of both States.
Mr Shettar pointed out that disobedience of verdicts have adversely affected Karnataka farmers.
“In 1991 the then Karnataka government decided to pass an ordinance over release of water and this led to the CRA passing an interim order directing Karnataka to release 205 tmcft of Cauvery water per annum and specified the quantum of monthly release.
This order hit us as hard as the 1924 pact between the Madras presidency and the erstwhile princely State of Mysore,” Mr Shettar said.
Opposition Congress Leader Siddaramaiah said the government should clear its stand, as there was no water to release to Tamil Nadu. He said as many as 49 taluks in the Cauvery basin were facing drought.
If Cauvery water is released to Tamil Nadu, it will put residents of Bangalore, Mysore and Mandya in jeopardy as they depend on it for drinking water, Mr Siddaramaiah said.
The Congress leader said the reservoir level in Tamil Nadu has improved and ground water is available even at 20 feet whereas in Karnataka, the ground water is exploited to the maximum. “I respect Supreme Court order to release water to TN, but we are in distress,” he said.