The Karnataka government has turned down Tamil Nadu's request for release of the Cauvery water to the Mettur dam, after taking into account the State's own drinking water and irrigation requirements till June.

The decision was reached at an all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

However, speaking to reporters after the meeting, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai said there were bright chances of water overflowing “in natural course,”considering that the Krishnaraja Sagar was close to its maximum capacity of 124.8 ft.

It was raining heavily in the catchment at Kodagu and the level had reached 124.7 feet. “But, we will not release voluntarily.”

In the first meeting of its kind after the political crisis broke out in Karnataka, where leaders of all parties met in a cordial atmosphere, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramiah said there was “no question of politics in matters concerning water and land.”

Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Minister H.D. Revanna said farmers in Karnataka needed water till January 15 as there was delay in releasing water to them by a month this year during the kharif season. Water was released by August 15. It was normally released by July 15.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S. Suresh Kumar, Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya, M.C. Nanaiah of the Janata Dal (S) and Motamma of the Congress were among those present at the meeting.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had written to his Karnataka counterpart demanding release of water for irrigation, as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's award. There has been agitation by farmers in Tamil Nadu demanding Karnataka be pressured to adhere to the tribunal award.

Outflow from KRS

Mysore Special Correspondent reports:

The outflow from the Krishnaraja Sagar, near Mysore, has been stepped up following incessant rain in the upstream region of the dam.

Officials in the Irrigation Department told The Hindu that there was good rain in the catchment of the Cauvery and inflow into the reservoir was at the rate of 11,500 cusecs as on Wednesday. The dam had attained full reservoir level of 124.8 ft and hence it was imperative to regulate the outflow, as not a drop of water could be impounded anymore, they said.

They said there were reports of heavy rain in areas upstream of the Cauvery and the gauging station had recorded a flow of 17,500 cusecs, which may reach the KRS by morning. Hence, the outflow from the reservoir may go up further.