Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that he would take an all-party delegation from the state to meet the Prime Minister, seeking his intervention to resolve issues related to Mekedatu, Cauvery, Mahadayi, and Krishna. He sought cooperation from all parties in this regard.
He made the remarks during an all-party meeting called at Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday to discuss water sharing disputes. “We are always committed to protect the interest of the state. Due to the lack of rain every five to six years, we face difficulty in releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. A distress formula has not been arrived in this regard,” he asserted.
The Chief Minister is confident that the team of lawyers, representing the state, would put up a competent argument in the Supreme Court in this regard.
“A decision on the distress formula has to be taken by the Cauvery Water Management Authority. The construction of the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir with a storage capacity of 67 TMC water will help to release water to them during a crisis,” Siddaramaiah told leaders attending the meeting.
He said that Tamil Nadu is opposing Mekedatu project for “no reason”.
The Cauvery dispute is a legacy dispute. The Cauvery Water Management Authority has held 22 meetings while the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee has held 84 meetings, he said, adding that the state has been facing difficult days since these panels were formed.
“So far 86.38 TMC of water has to be released but till the August 20, only 24 TMC water has been released. This shows that we have opposed and made a sincere effort to disclose the facts before the authorities,” Siddaramaiah said while appreciating the efforts of officials representing Karnataka at the Cauvery Water Management Authority and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.
“It was because of the state’s argument that water to be released was reduced from 15,000 to 10,000 cusecs water. We have also placed a request to re-examine this too. The Tamil Nadu officials walked out of the meeting with the Cauvery Water Management Authority, where our officials were presenting their argument about the difficulty in releasing 15,000 cusecs of water. Later they filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. This case will be heard on the August 25 and the out lawyers will put a competent argument,” he said.
“From the beginning, all the political parties have spoken in one voice on Karnataka’s land, water, borders and languages. No one has tried to politicise these issues, nor should they. We all have to protect the welfare of seven crore people of the state. It is the responsibility of everybody to protect the welfare of the state, whether we belong to the ruling party or not,” the Chief Minister added.
Earlier, speaking at the beginning of the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said that there will be no compromise in protecting the interest of the state in the matter of irrigation.
Former Chief Ministers B.S. Yeddyurappa, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Veerappa Moily, Jagadish Shettar, H.D. Kumaraswamy, Basavaraja Bommai, MP Sumalatha, Jaggesh, Hanumantaiah, Muniswamy, G.M. Siddeshwar, and G.C. Chandrasekhar, among others extended support to the government in its legal battle to “protect the interests of farmers in the state”.