Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that the direction of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) to Karnataka to further release 4.81 tmfct of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu was “irrational”.
He was speaking after the launch of the Honganur Hirikere Lift Irrigation Project in Chamarajanagar taluk on Friday. The project was built at a cost of Rs. 2.46 crore to irrigate 6,000 acres in the command area covering five villages at Honganur.
Mr. Bommai said the CMC had violated rules before taking a decision to release water to Tamil Nadu. He said the CMC should have considered the State’s situation, which was reeling under drought.
He said there was no question of releasing water to Tamil Nadu and the State’s stand would be conveyed to the Supreme Court after a meeting is held with experts to discuss the issue.
Mr. Bommai said the lift irrigation project was a long-pending demand of the farmers of the region. He said that of the 55 tanks, 21 had been rejuvenated. The remaining would be done on priority. He said the State government had decided to implement drip irrigation project in the Cauvery command areas where there was water problem. He said a lift irrigation project which was implemented in Haveri district would be replicated in other parts of the State as well.
Mr. Bommai said the gates at the Krishnaraja Sagar were old. He said 16 gates had been modernised and the rest would be done shortly. The government had taken steps to strengthen the State’s reservoirs at a cost of Rs. 601 crore and the works were in progress, he added.