Cauvery talks fail, Shettar refuses to give TN water
BANGALORE: Talks to resolve the Cauvery water-sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu failed to make any headway here on Thursday with Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar refusing to heed counterpart Jayalalithaa’s request for “a bare minimum” to her state.
The meeting held on the Supreme Court’s suggestion was the second in 15 years after M Karunanidhi and JH Patel held bilateral talks in 1997. The apex court is scheduled to hear the case on Friday, Jayalalithaa said.
The Tamil Nadu CM wanted release of 30 TMC ft (thousand million cubic feet) of water in the next 15 days to “save the standing samba (long term) crops” but Shettar refused.
“If Karnataka does not release water, there will be a calamity for farmers of Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalithaa said. “But despite all our discussions, despite all our pleadings, the Karnataka government was firm in saying that it could not release even a single drop of water. So this is the outcome of the meeting. Karnataka has flatly refused to release any water to Tamil Nadu,” she told mediapersons.
Shettar told presspersons separately, “There is distress in Karnataka. We are not in a position to release water. Fulfilling drinking water needs, irrigation for standing crops, and water for environmental conservation in Karnataka would leave no water for Tamil Nadu.”
Shettar also said reservoirs in Karnataka hold around 37 TMC ft of water, of which 20 TMC ft are for drinking water needs of Bangalore, Mysore, and rural areas.
Another 10 TMC ft is reserved for environmental purposes, leaving only 7 TMC ft for standing crops.
“Our requirement is much higher. We cannot release any more water,” he said.