Bengaluru: Karnataka government on Wednesday said it would try to convince the Supreme Court about "ground realities" and difficulties faced by people for water in the Cauvery basin when the matter related to release of the river water to Tamil Nadu comes up for next hearing on 20 September.
"We will reiterate and request with folded hands before the Supreme Court that Karnataka is facing water problems in Cauvery basin, and water is left only for drinking purpose," state Water Resources Minister MB Patil said.
"Please understand the ground realities and, if need be, send an expert team. Let them assess," he told reporters here. Patil also expressed hope that Cauvery Supervisory Commitee will not direct Karnataka to release further water when the matter comes up before it on 19 September.
"We request to keep at this mark only (not exceeding 12,000 cusecs). If you ask us to release further water... we will be in a very (big) crisis," he said. On 5 September, the Supreme Court had directed the release of 15,000 cusecs for 10 days. In its modified order on 12 September, the court said 12,000 cusecs should be let out till 20 September.
Patil said there was only 40 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water left in all the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin. About 28 TMC ft was needed for providing drinking water to cities like Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and villages in Cauvery basin up to June.
"We hardly have any water left. We require about 28 TMC. Our reservoirs have 40 TMC. Now already 33 TMC have been released and again, about 17 TMC are to be released," he said. Despite the opposition's demand not to release water and facing hardships, the government has been abiding by the court's order and discharging the water with "a heavy heart."
To a question, he said, "I cannot predict any further rains in the catchment area, but if it rains the problem will be resolved and If doesn't it add to our crisis," he said.