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Karnataka, September 29: On September 27, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced the state government’s intention to oppose a directive of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) regarding releasing water to Tamil Nadu, amid the ongoing water-sharing dispute. There is a hint of another chapter. The CWRC had directed Karnataka to release water at the rate of 3,000 cubic feet per second (cusec) to Tamil Nadu between September 28 and October 15.
Karnataka is grappling with protests led by pro-Kannada groups with the support of farmer organizations. These protests erupted following the Supreme Court order of September 21, which ordered Tamil Nadu to release 5,000 cusecs of water daily. In response, protesters organized a statewide shutdown on 26 September.
Addressing reporters in Chamarajanagar, Siddaramaiah revealed that the state’s legal team had advised the government to appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the latest directive of the Cauvery Regulation Panel. He said, “We are challenging the order in the Supreme Court. We won’t have water to give.”
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar had earlier on September 26 expressed satisfaction over the CWRC’s rejection of Tamil Nadu’s request to release 12,000 cusecs of water to Karnataka. Instead, the committee recommended releasing 3,000 cusecs of water.
Karnataka presented its case before the CWRC during a meeting in New Delhi, highlighting the significant shortfall in cumulative inflows in its four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin till September 25, which stood at only 53.04 percent of their capacity. Karnataka officials stressed that the state was facing a critical situation with inadequate storage in reservoirs due to the failure of the southwest monsoon in 2023. Meeting the drinking water needs alone was proving to be a huge challenge, let alone meeting the irrigation needs.
He also said that rainfall in Karnataka during August and September was the lowest recorded in the last 123 years, exacerbating the problem of water scarcity in the region.