Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said the state is in a “Catch-22” with the release of water to Tamil Nadu on the instructions of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and sought the Centre’s intervention to solve this problem.
Water Resources Minister Shivakumar urged the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, its leaders and MPs to convince the Prime Minister to bail out Karnataka, while noting that he will travel to Delhi to meet MPs and Union ministers during the ongoing Parliament session.
He also defended the state’s decision to release water to Tamil Nadu, citing the legal team’s recommendations for a case to be heard in the Supreme Court later this week in which non-compliance with CWMA orders May be taken seriously.
The CWMA on Monday asked Karnataka to continue releasing 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for 15 days.
“We are in a Catch-22 situation, we have no water but still have to respect whatever the authorities decide. We are appealing in the Supreme Court. I am going to Delhi to meet MPs and we will also send a delegation there Meeting the Central (Jal Shakti) Minister, we also requested the Prime Minister to intervene and come to our rescue,” Shivakumar said.
“We don’t mind (releasing water to TN) if there is water. There is no inflow and we find it difficult. I think the central government has to help us,” he told reporters here. The BJP leadership (from the state) must Join us in saving Karnataka. ”
The directive from the CWMA comes after the Cauvery Water Regulatory Commission (CWRC) last week recommended Karnataka release 5,000 cusecs of water per day to the neighboring state for the next 15 days.
Meanwhile, there are reports that water is being released from the Krishna Rajasagara (KRS) dam in Mandya and other parts of the Cauvery basin region despite farmers’ protests.
When asked about former chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s suggestion not to release water to Tamil Nadu and asked the state government to prepare for a legal battle, Shivakumar said: “We will seriously consider this suggestion, but his The proposals are designed to get us into trouble politically, in the courts. We will fight (legally) and there is no other way to say it.”
Noting that the case will be heard by the Supreme Court on Thursday, Shivakumar said: “We have no intention of letting water go at any cost, but the court cases should also be kept in mind.”
“I am going to Delhi to ask all MPs to put pressure on the central government to intervene. We will do whatever it takes. You (Bommai) say don’t let the water go, but if the court asks us whether we are complying (with the authorities) and asks us to comply, What options are left for me or Bommai?” he asked.
“Everyone should cooperate in the interest of the country. We have to inform the Supreme Court about our case and we will definitely fight legally,” he said, asking Bommai to ensure that the prime minister intervenes in the issue and keep politics aside.
Shivakumar noted that JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda had rightly suggested an out-of-court settlement in Parliament based on his seniority and experience and said Bommai should have made similar remarks as a former minister and water resources minister given his experience.
“We will proceed with the legal team appointed by them (BJP government)… Use your influence in Delhi and protect the national interest,” he added.