Karnataka will fight for its share of the Cauvery water, says Siddaramaiah

Allaying fears of any injustice to Karnataka on the Cauvery issue, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said the government would safeguard the interests of farmers in the Cauvery basin in the State.

Mr. Siddaramaiah told presspersons here that the State government had urged the Union government not to constitute the Cauvery management board as the matter was sub judice. Hence there was no need to panic, he said.

“The government will strongly oppose the constitution of the board as it was against it from the beginning. We have apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of our strong opposition to it and explained to him that the riparian States involved in the dispute —Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — have appealed against the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and that since the issue was pending before the Supreme Court, the board should not be constituted,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said. Though Tamil Nadu was pressuring the Centre to constitute the board, Karnataka would safeguard its interests and fight for its share of the Cauvery water, he said.

The Chief Minister said a delegation of all party leaders from the State would go to Delhi and meet the Prime Minister on June 10 to express opposition to the plan to constitute the board.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the State released 260 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu last year against the tribunal’s award of 192 tmcft. The flow was more than the stipulated quantum, but in lean years when there would be no rain, there was bound to be some shortfall, and how could it be helped, he sought to know.

Water discharged from the reservoirs was being monitored by the Supervisory Committee appointed according to the directives of the court, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, and added that the discharge was as stipulated in the tribunal’s final order.

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