Farmers’ interest paramount, will not sit idly to cling to power: CM Siddaramaiah to Cauvery agitators

The Karnataka government would give priority to drinking water needs and sustaining standing crops, Siddaramaiah tells farmers.

BySouth First Desk

Published Oct 31, 2023 | 7:18 PMUpdatedOct 31, 2023 | 8:01 PM

Karnataka #AsnwerMadiModi CM Siddaramaiah BJP Narendra Modi

Though the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) has directed the state to release 2,600 cusecs of water for the next 15 days to Tamil Nadu, the Karnataka government would give priority to drinking water needs and sustaining standing crops, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Mandya on Tuesday, 31 October.

“We will not be found wanting in protecting your interests. We will not sacrifice your interests to stay in power. We will not sit idly only to cling to power,” Siddaramaiah said addressing farmers,  who have been agitating for the past 56 days against the release of Cauvery water, under the banner of ‘Mandya Zilla Raita Hitarakshana Samiti’.

Noting that the state is facing severe drought this year as rains have been inadequate, he said Karnataka is facing a distress year without the reservoirs being filled.

“….first they asked to release 5,000 cusecs of water. Then the order came to release 3,000 cusecs of water. We did not agree to that either. Now 2,600 cusecs of water has been ordered to be released yesterday. But we will give first priority to drinking water and sustaining crops. We will try our best to save the Monsoon crop,” Siddaramaiah told the farmers.

The chief minister told the agitators that he being the son of a farmer who had taken part in the farmers’ agitation knows their plight very well.

Also read: Kerala revives a project to use its share of the Cauvery river water

CWRC recommendation

The CWRC on Monday, 30 October, recommended that Karnataka ensure that a minimum flow of 2,600 cusecs of water reaches Biligundlu in Tamil Nadu from 1 November to 15 November.

According to a statement on the 89th CWRC meeting, Karnataka submitted that in the light of almost nil inflows into its four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin, the state would not be able to release any water to reach Biligundlu “except that (which) would be contributed from the uncontrolled catchment”.

“Tamil Nadu has demanded that Karnataka release 13,000 cusecs for next 15 days (which works out to 16.90 thousand million cubic feet),” the statement said.

The CWRC had in September ordered Karnataka to ensure the release of 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water from 28 September to 15 October.

Karnataka has filed a review petition against the orders of both the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Management Authority.

(With PTI inputs)