Cauvery row: Govt committed to protect farmers interests, says DK Shivakumar | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Cauvery row: Karnataka govt committed to protect farmers interests, says DCM DK Shivakumar

PTI | | Posted by Yamini C S
Oct 12, 2023 10:43 AM IST

The DCM said implementing the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project across the Cauvery river at Kanakapura taluk, Ramanagara, is the government's top priority.

With the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee once again recommending Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for 15 days, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said the state government is committed to protect the interests of its farmers, irrespective of whatever the order may be.

Karnataka deputy chief minister, DK Shivakumar. (File Photo)
Karnataka deputy chief minister, DK Shivakumar. (File Photo)

The Deputy CM, who is also the Minister in-charge of the state's Water Resources department, said implementing the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project across the Cauvery river at Kanakapura taluk in Ramanagara district to which the neighbouring Tamil Nadu is opposed to, is the top priority of his government.

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The CWRC today recommended that Karnataka needs to ensure water release from its reservoirs so that 3,000 cusecs are realised at Biligundlu (measuring station in Tamil Nadu) starting from October 16 (8 am) up to October 31.

READ | Karnataka obligated to release Cauvery water to TN, says CWRC

"They (CWRC) have taken account of water level at our dams and theirs (Tamil Nadu) and have recommended to continue 3,000 cusecs. Inflow at our dams is about 10,000 cusecs today. Whatever the order may be, we will do all that is needed to protect the interests of our farmers, we are committed to it," Shivakumar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, "Despite us (Karnataka) releasing water, for a couple of days the quantity of water that reached Biligundlu was slightly less, but due to rains in Bengaluru and surrounding areas there was increased flow for a couple of days. So by and large there was a balance."

Responding to a question, Shivakumar said the state has requested before the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) for a central team to be sent to the state for inspecting the dams. "They have to decide about it."

Reasserting that the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project is the top priority of the Karnataka government, he said, "we are making preparations to place the matter before the court. Court has also told them (TN) verbally that there should be no dispute when Karnataka is building the dam in their territory and is ready to give (TN) its share of 177 tmc water."

Stating that preparations are on regarding the alternative land to be given to farmers, with the project taking shape, Shivakumar said the central government, however, has to give certain permissions, environmental clearances, among others.

READ | Cauvery issue: JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy expresses outrage over CWRC order

"We don't want anyone's permission to do whatever we want in our land...regarding the land, trees that may go due to the project, we will do our duty (survey)," he added.

According to official sources, Karnataka made a submission before CWRC today requesting to report to CWMA that the shortfall in cumulative inflows to Karnataka's four reservoirs up to October 10 is 50.891 per cent.

Taking note of the distress flows and the extreme hydro-meteorological conditions, it is inferred that the flows into Karnataka reservoirs cannot be relied upon with any assurance. Therefore, Karnataka will not be able to release any water from its reservoirs so as to reach Biligundlu, except (the water flow) that would be contributed from the uncontrolled catchment, officials said.

Tamil Nadu demanded before the CWRC that Karnataka has to release 16,000 cusecs for the next 15 days (which works out to 20.75 TMC), officials added.

To a question on load shedding resulting in power cuts in many parts of the state and trouble faced by farmers unable to operate their pumpsets as a result, the DCM said, "195 taluks have been declared as drought-hit in the state, due to lack of rains...Due to lack of rains power generation has been hit. But still the government is working out to balance things."

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