New Delhi: Amid raging row over sharing of Cauvery water, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday met Union minister Uma Bharti and explained to her his state's "difficulty" in releasing the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu as per Supreme Court order, which he termed as "unfair".
The apex court had on 20 September directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of the river water per day to lower riparian Tamil Nadu from 21 to 27 September. The order led to widespread protests in both the states.
In his meeting with the Union Water Resources Minister, Siddaramaiah apprised her of the "grim" situation in the state due to lower water levels in its four reservoirs and its struggle to meet drinking demands in the backdrop of two consecutive drought years.
"He also informed Bharti that the Supreme Court order was unfair to the state and how the Centre should make future policies taking into account such grave situation," an official source said.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said, "We have explained to her about situation in the state. We told her that it is difficult for us to release the quantum of water as per the Supreme Court order. We have already given 12,000 cusecs of water per day in 14 days as directed. We don't have adequate water in reservoirs."
He told Bharti that Karnataka is left with only 24 TMC water in four reservoirs, while its drinking water requirement is of 27 TMC in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mandya districts. "As we struggle in meeting drinking water demand, they (Tamil Nadu) are asking water for irrigation purpose," the chief minister asserted. He said the Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu has water to the tune of 57 TMC.
"We have only 24 TMC water in four dams. We have problem in supplying water for drinking not only for human beings but also for livestock and other animals. We require 27 TMC of water, while the total storage is 26 TMC in dams," he explained.
To a question, Siddaramaiah also said he wrote several letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his
intervention in the matter, but is yet to receive any response.
Meanwhile, according to sources, Bharti gave a patient hearing to the delegation and said she was aware of the problem of Karnataka and agreed to the assertion made by the chief minister.