Karnataka govt. sees CWRC’s fresh recommendation as a relief while Oppn. and farmers are upset

Tamil Nadu demanded 12,500 cusecs a day. But the CWRC has recommended the release of 3,000 cusecs daily till October 15: D.K Shivakumar

Published - September 26, 2023 09:56 pm IST - BENGALURU/MYSURU 

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah interacting with farmers protesting at Muguru village on Cauvery river water sharing issue.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah interacting with farmers protesting at Muguru village on Cauvery river water sharing issue. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Though the Opposition parties and farmers have expressed dissatisfaction at the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’s (CWRC) recommendation on Tuesday to release water at the rate of 3,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu from September 28 to October 15, the Karnataka government is seeing this as a relief for the State as the quantum of water to be released has been reduced from the present 5,000 cusecs to 3,000 cusecs a day. 

This was evident when Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar, who also holds Water Resources portfolio, said he is happy that the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) has decided to reject the Tamil Nadu government’s petition seeking release of water at the rate of 12,000 cusecs a day from Karnataka. “Tamil Nadu has demanded 12,500 cusecs of water a day. But the CWRC has recommended the release of 3,000 cusecs daily till October 15,” he told mediapersons in Bengaluru. 

However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was measured in his response as he said that he will consult Karnataka’s legal team with regard to the fresh directive from the CWRC. 

Replying to queries by mediapersons, Mr. Shivakumar maintained that generally, close to 2,000 cusecs of outflow would be there in the river on a daily basis. “Now, about 1,000 cusecs would have to be released daily (in addition to this). The inflow is good following rains in Kanakapura and Bengaluru in the last few days,” he said. 

He said the Karnataka officials had effectively defended the State’s interest by flagging the drought situation in the Cauvery basin. Mr. Shivakumar said the implementation of the proposed Mekedatu project, a balancing reservoir across Cauvery river near Kanakapura, is the only solution to mitigate the water crisis between the two states. “We will convince the necessity of the Mekedatu project to both committees (CWMA and CWRC) of the Cauvery water. Our MPs also will put pressure on the Union Minister for Jal Shakti,” he said. 

Sources said that the new quantum will not be difficult to meet as the 3,000 cusecs also includes the mandatory release to the river for environmental purpose. 

Karnataka had argued before the CWRC that the cumulative inflows to its four reservoirs upto September 25 was only 53.04% of the total capacity, and it was not in a position to release any water from its reservoirs. As per data available with KSNDMC, the total inflow into KRS and Kabini reservoirs on Tuesday was 9,718 cusecs while the total outflow into the river that will flow to Tamil Nadu was 6,337 cusecs.  

Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP and Janata Dal (Secular) have expressed concern over the recommendation of CWRC to further release water and termed the current situation as a result of government’s negligence. Expressing anger over the CWRC’s recommendation, farmers in Mandya even blocked a stretch on the Bengaluru-Mysuru old highway and also burnt a handwritten copy of the CWRC’s order. 

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