We are there to protect farmers’ interests: Shivakumar on Cauvery water-sharing row

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BENGALURU: Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Saturday said that the state government is there to protect the interest of farmers.

Speaking to reporters on the Cauvery water-sharing row, Shivakumar said, “We are there to protect the interest of the farmers of Karnataka. We have appealed to the authorities that no one should take the law into their hands. I appeal to them not to organise a ‘bandh’…We are there to support the interest of Karnataka…”

Farmers across Karnataka have been protesting since the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) ordered the state to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu, for 15 days, effective from September 13.

Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the CWMA order. A bench of Justices BR Gavai, PS Narasimha and Prashant Kumar Mishra, while refusing to interfere in the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, said both CWMA and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) are regularly meeting and monitoring the water requirements every 15 days.

It said the apex court was not inclined to interfere with the order passed on this aspect by the authority, since the authority and committee were meeting and monitoring the situation every 15 days. It declined to entertain an application filed by the Tamil Nadu government to increase its current share of Cauvery water from 5,000 to 7,200 cusecs per day.

Tamil Nadu has sought fresh directions for the release of Cauvery river water from Karnataka, claiming that the neighbouring State had changed its stand, and had released a reduced quantum of water as against what was agreed upon earlier.

The Karnataka government, on September, 20 filed an application before the top court seeking a direction to the CWMA to reconsider its September 18 decision to ensure a flow of 5,000 cusecs of river water to Tamil Nadu till September 29.

Karnataka, in its application, stated, “This water year of 2023-24 has begun on a bad note. The south-west monsoon which feeds the catchment in Karnataka has failed miserably. Even at the reservoir level, which covers a part of the catchment, the shortfall is 53.42 per cent. If the shortfall is considered up to the inter-State border Biligundulu, where flows are accountable, shortfall and distress would be much more than 53.42 per cent”.

The matter has been a controversial issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for decades and they have been locked in battle over the sharing of water from the Cauvery river, which is a major source of irrigation and drinking water for millions of people in the region.

The Centre formed the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) on June 2, 1990, to adjudicate disputes between Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry with respect to the water-sharing capacities.(ANI)

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