New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s efforts to resolve the Cauvery river water-sharing row between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka failed, with both the states refusing to accept his proposals.
A meeting of the Cauvery Rivery Authority was held in New Delhi on Wednesday and chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa and Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar, among others, attended the meeting.
Karnataka had earlier refused to accept Tamil Nadu’s demand for the release of two thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) water for 24 days or one tmcft for 30 days.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Prime Minister proposed that Karnataka release 9,000 cusecs of water daily for 25 days, starting Thursday to 15 October.
Leaders from Karnataka said they were not in favour of this move and walked out of the meeting. Later, Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu would move the Supreme Court seeking justice.
“Karnataka was not agreeable to both these demands and said that it would not release even a drop of water to Tamil Nadu in these circumstances. The bare minimum water sought by Tamil Nadu was also not accepted,” Jayalalithaa told reporters after the meeting.
She said Tamil Nadu was “totally disappointed” with the meeting and that the state has no option, but to knock at the doors of the Supreme Court to seek justice and to save the standing samba (paddy) crops.
“Since there was no consensus at the meeting, the Prime Minister as the chair awarded that 9,000 cusecs of water be released to Tamil Nadu from 30 September to 15 October. This also was not acceptable to Karnataka. I also registered my protest against this ruling,” she said.
Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu was dependent on water from Karnataka to save crops in 15 lakh acres in the state.
Earlier, at the meeting, Jayalalithaa told Singh that the people of Tamil Nadu expect “positive and firm” action from the prime minister for the release of water from Karnataka.
“I request you to direct Karnataka to immediately release 48 tmcft at the rate of 2 tmcft of water everyday for the next 24 days which is due to Tamil Nadu in accordance with the distress-sharing formula and thereafter continuously as per the interim order of the Tribunal, so that the Samba crop can be sustained in the Cauvery basin and a food crisis in Tamil Nadu averted,” she said.
Separately, Jayalalithaa refused to comment on the political situation after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) announced its decision to withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
“I cannot speculate on that. I would confine my comments to the CRA meeting today,” she said.