Cauvery water dispute will haunt Karnataka govt as water crisis looms

Bengaluru, Sep 28 (IANS): The Cauvery water crisis has once again surfaced in Karnataka with the water tribunals ordering the state to release 3,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till October 16.

The government is facing a challenge of handling a series of bandhs and protests across the state.

The government is also challenged with handling the water crisis in the state. With the release of water to Tamil Nadu, it is almost certain that the standing crops which require 79 TMC of water will not get it.

The fulfillment of drinking water needs of Bengaluru city throughout the summer is also going to be another challenge. The requirement of the state for drinking water up to June 2024 is about 33 TMC.

Tamil Nadu had demanded for the release of 12,500 cusecs of water. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said that the rains received in August and September were the lowest in 125 years.

With BJP and JD (S) joining hands and supporting the bandh, protest and stirs in the state, the Congress government which had dream run till date will also have to ensure law, order and peace in the state, especially in capital city of Bengaluru.

In his letter to PM Modi, former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda had stated that Karnataka state requires 112 TMC of water. “Tamil Nadu’s demand for more than 40 TMC of water is gross injustice. The demands are against humanity and natural justice,” he said.

The Supreme Court had given the final verdict on the Cauvery dispute on June 16, 2018. It earmarked 284.57 TMC for Karnataka, 404 TMC for Tamil Nadu, 10 TMC for Puducherry, and 10 TMC for Kerala.

KPCC Spokesperson K.P. Laxman said that it was estimated that a total of 740 TMC of water is generated in the Cauvery basin. It is decided that Karnataka should release 177 TMC of water however there is no rule regarding the distress period. “During droughts, blind decisions are made,” he said.

He said that according to the Irrigation Act 6 (a), the central government should have discussed the matter in the Lok Sabha and it should have talked about the distribution of water but this was not done.

However, as the crisis deepens with the passage of time, the Cauvery crisis is only expected to get worse.

The issue has come as a spoiler for the Congress government in Karnataka, which was having a dream run following the implementation of guarantee schemes.



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