Not in a state to share water with Tamil Nadu: Karnataka minister
Further addressing Tamil Nadu’s demand for the release of the allocated water quota for July, the minister emphasised on the water scarcity issues faced by the Cauvery Basin areas
While highlighting the water deficit plaguing Karnataka, the state agriculture minister and Mandya district in-charge N Cheluvarayaswamy on Monday stated that it will not be possible to release the Cauvery water to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
Further addressing Tamil Nadu’s demand for the release of the allocated water quota for July, the minister emphasized on the water scarcity issues faced by the Cauvery Basin areas.
“As a practice, the Tamil Nadu government has demanded the release of water from Karnataka. But when there is no water even for drinking, how is it possible to release water to them? A meeting will be convened soon to discuss the issue,” stated minister Cheluvarayaswamy.
He said amid the dire situation in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu has persistently requested water from the Cauvery Water Management Authority and appealed to the Cauvery Monitoring Committee.
“Karnataka is facing a drought-like situation but Tamil Nadu is demanding water from Cauvery Water Management Authority. It has even appealed to the Cauvery Monitoring Committee. But we are not in a position to release water,” he said.
Cheluvarayaswamy also mentioned the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) prediction of potential rainfall improvement by the end of the month.
Failing that, the government would declare the affected districts as drought-hit. Additionally, the state government is considering cloud seeding if the monsoon continues to be delayed, and it may declare a drought situation.
“The cabinet sub-committee has already had a discussion on the issue. There are certain guidelines to be followed before declaring drought in the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh expressed her concerns over the water crisis and announced her plan to visit New Delhi for discussions with the Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. She highlighted the guidelines issued by the tribunal regarding the sharing of Cauvery River water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
“Currently, we have been hit by deficit rainfall and the water level at KRS is low. We can now only provide water for drinking purposes for the next few months. Also, we need to look into the problems of farmers too.”
Urging the government to take immediate action, Ambareesh emphasised the severity of the situation, with farmers worried about safeguarding their standing crops.
“When there is a water crisis, first preference is given to providing drinking water. When our people are facing issues, it is not possible to release water to Tamil Nadu,” she added.