The meeting of the Cauvery River Authority,chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,on Wednesday failed to resolve the water sharing row between the states with both refusing to accept the PMs final ruling. While Karnataka CM Jagdish Shettar staged a walkout in protest,his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa announced the state would approach the Supreme Court.
The meeting,convened on the direction of the SC after a gap of 10 years,saw Jayalalithaa demanding that the PM direct Karnataka to release 2 TMC ft of water daily to Tamil Nadu for the next 24 days. Karnataka refused after which Tamil Nadu revised its demand to 1 TMC ft of water daily for the next 30 days,which was also turned down. Shettar said that Karnataka was not in a position to release any more water to Tamil Nadu.
With no consensus after two hours of discussion,the PM ruled that Karnataka release 9,000 cusecs of water daily for 25 days from September 20 to October 15. Jayalalithaa said,The final award of the PM was not acceptable to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka spoke in similar vein.
Karnataka has been releasing 10,000 cusecs of water every day from September 12 on the directions of the SC. According to the Business Rules of the CRA,the chairmans decision is final in the event of consensus eluding.
We are totally disappointed with the outcome of todays meeting of the CRA. Even the bare minimum of water sought were not accepted…Karnataka kept on insisting that it was not in a position to release even a drop of water to Tamil Nadu, Jaya said. She said Tamil Nadu is left with no option but to approach the SC,as it is dependent on water from Karnataka to save crops in 15 lakh acres of land.
On the other hand,Shettar said he informed the meeting about the extreme distress conditions and drought prevailing in all the 49 taluks of the Cauvery basin in Karnataka. Our request to the PM was that we are not in a position to release any water to Tamil Nadu because of severe drought situation in Karnataka. But against our request the PM has given a ruling that up to October 15,Karnataka has to release 9000 cusecs of water, he said.
The Centre said the Cauvery Monitoring Committee will review the position by October 15 so appropriate releases beyond October 15 may be decided in consultation with state governments. The Centre said the PMs decision was taken with crop situation of both states in mind.