‘We do not have enough water to release it to Tamil Nadu’

“The order of the Prime Minister-led Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu and the Supreme Court’s direction in this regard has put the State in a difficult situation. For, neither the State can overlook the directions nor does it have enough water to release it to Tamil Nadu,” Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa has said.

However, requesting the CRA to review its order, after ascertaining the ground realities prevailing in Karnataka by deputing a team of officials, was an option open to the State government to protect its interests, he said.

Addressing presspersons at the Bellary airport on Sunday, Mr. Eshwarappa said: “We have to and will abide by the directions of the apex court and also that of the Prime Minister. But the ground realities are quite different making it very difficult for the State to implement them. Tamil Nadu has adequate storage of water for its present standing crops and is keen to augment water for the next crop. In turn, Karnataka is facing acute shortage of water in the reservoirs owing to failure of rains. About 31 tmcft is required to meet drinking water needs and 159 tmcft for irrigation. But the availability of water was over 70 tmcft.”

Opposition charge

Mr. Eshwarappa, while disagreeing with reported statements of Opposition parties that the State government had failed in presenting its case properly before the Supreme Court and also before the CRA, said that senior counsels like Fali Nariman had effectively presented the State’s case. “I don’t want to react to the statement of Opposition with an intention of not to politicise the issue”, he said adding that the State government would continue to make sincere efforts to convince the CRA about the ground realities.

Mr. Eshwarappa was of the view that leaders of all political parties should unitedly take up the case in the interests of the State and farmers without politicising the issue.

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