Karnataka has diverted water around Cauvery catchment

  • Press Trust of India, PTI, Coimbatore
  • |
  • Updated: May 31, 2003 10:44 IST
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister C Ponnaiyan on Friday accused Karnataka of diverting Cauvery water, by creating ponds for minor and major irrigation around its catchment areas, depriving Tamil Nadu its due share.

Responding to issues raised by some farmers' associations at the Farmers' Day, organised at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here, Ponnaiyan alleged that Karnataka had not heeded pleas to release water despite Supreme court order or the request from Prime Minister and "was functioning as a separate State."

This diversion has resulted in lesser inflow into the Cauvery river, depriving Tamil Nadu its water, he observed.

Stating that he did not want to indulge in politics on the issue, he appealed to some Congress legislators, present on the dais, to prevail upon Karnataka Government through their leader Sonia Gandhi, to get Tamil Nadu some water.

Tamil Nadu Government had even sought dismissal of that Government for not obeying the court order. But BJP, the main ally at the Centre, was hesitating, since it had also "a larger stake" in that state, Ponnaiyan said.

He wondered why Congress and BJP in Tamil Nadu were not fighting for their state while their Karnataka units were fighting for the state's water rights.

Tamil Nadu Government was taking all possible steps to protect the interests of farmers, he said and appealed to the farmers associations to cooperate with Government to tackle the situation in the State, which was facing serious drought conditions for the last two years.

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