Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Jayalalithaa and Jagadish Shettar, will meet in Bangalore on Thursday to discuss sharing the available waters in the reservoirs across the Cauvery in the backdrop of a suggestion by the Supreme Court.
Sources close to Mr. Shettar told The Hindu that Karnataka would approach the issue with a “positive mind to evolve at least a short-term solution that will last the current water year. Farmers in both States are in distress due to the failure of the southwest monsoon, and the talks between the two Chief Ministers to be held in a cordial atmosphere will yield results and a better understanding between the people of the two States”. Sources in the Tamil Nadu government say that even as the State will continue to reiterate its position that Karnataka make good the shortfall of about 53 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), it will highlight the need for releasing a substantial amount of water immediately to save the standing long-term ‘Samba’ crop.
The net storage in the four Cauvery basin reservoirs of Karnataka is around 40 tmc ft, while it is hardly six tmc ft in the Mettur dam for irrigation.
Ms. Jayalalithaa will reach Bangalore by a special flight. She will drive to the meeting venue at a private hotel for the 3.00 p.m. talks.
The Tamil Nadu team will include Public Works Minister K.V. Ramalingam, Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, Public Works Secretary M. Saikumar and Cauvery Technical Cell Chairman R. Subramanian, while the Karnataka government will be represented by Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Chief Secretary S.V.Ranganath and Principal Secretary (Irrigation) D.Sathyamurthy. On Wednesday, Ms. Jayalalithaa discussed the matter with Mr. Sarangi, Dr. Saikumar, Advocate General A. Navaneethakrishnan and other legal experts.