The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Friday observed that Karnataka was “not in a position to honour the decision of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu”.
Addressing mediapersons, he criticised Mr. Singh, who is also Chairman of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), for asking Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu everyday till October 15.
Mr. Singh had not understood reality before directing Karnataka to release water. Had he been in possession of information related to storage position in various reservoirs of Cauvery basin, the Prime Minister would have not taken a decision of the kind, he said. “Mr. Singh pronounced the verdict, without studying the ground reality,” he remarked.
Supporting the stand of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who staged a walkout from CRA meeting expressing inability to release water to Tamil Nadu, Mr. Gowda said that, it (releasing water) is a question of life and death to Karnataka and he would write a detailed letter explaining situation in the State. He regretted the disruption by Tamil Nadu MPs when he tried to raise the issue in Parliament
When asked about the Tamil Nadu government approaching Supreme Court seeking direction to Karnataka to release 2 tmcft of water for 24 days or 1 tmcft for 30 days, he suggested that the Karnataka government approach the court without delay to safeguard the State’s interest. While farmers in Tamil Nadu were cultivating three crops in Cauvery delta districts, their counterparts in Karnataka could not cultivate a single crop. Besides farmers were drawing water through over 1 lakh pumpsets, he noted.
Karnataka was facing the worst drought in 40 years, with over 155 taluks affected severely and there was problem in supplying even drinking water to Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya and Hassan. “Under the circumstances how could anyone expect the State to implement Mr. Singh’s s unjustified direction?” he asked.
Accusing Tamil Nadu of defaming Karnataka by making false propaganda that latter was not honouring direction of Supreme Court, Tribunal and CRA, the former Prime Minister said that the AIADMK and the DMK were exploiting the Cauvery issue to meet their political ends.