In a bold move, the state of Karnataka has decided to challenge the recent order by the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) to release water from its reservoirs to neighboring Tamil Nadu.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar announced on Thursday that Karnataka will appeal against the directive, citing the lack of rainfall and the need to protect the interests of farmers.
The Cauvery River is a vital lifeline for both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as it provides water for irrigation, drinking water, and hydroelectric power generation.
However, the sharing of Cauvery’s waters has been a contentious issue between the two states for decades. Various agreements and tribunals have been formed over the years to mediate the dispute and ensure a fair distribution of water.
The CWRC’s Order
The CWRC, a body under the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), recently recommended that Karnataka release water from its reservoirs to Tamil Nadu.
The order specified a release of 3,000 cusecs of water at Biligundlu, a measuring station in Tamil Nadu, from October 16 to October 31. The CWMA will issue a final order based on the CWRC’s recommendation.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar expressed concerns over the CWRC’s directive, citing the insufficient rainfall in the state.
Despite having an inflow of 8,000-9,000 cusecs in its reservoirs, Karnataka remains committed to protecting the interests of its farmers. Shivakumar emphasized that the lack of rains and the resulting drought situation make it difficult to comply with the CWRC’s recommendation.
Regarding the power cuts faced by farmers due to load shedding, Shivakumar highlighted that the state is experiencing a power deficit due to the drought.
Karnataka’s Energy Minister, KJ George, has sought the supply of power from the central grid to address the power shortage and minimize the impact on agriculture. He also criticized the previous BJP regime for not adequately planning for power generation during their tenure.
Balancing Water and Power Needs
The issue of water allocation is closely connected to power generation as it requires a significant amount of water. Karnataka acknowledges the challenges presented by the drought and the coal supply issues.
However, the state remains committed to finding a solution that can support both farmers and the overall power needs of the region.
Energy Minister KJ George has been actively engaged in seeking additional power supply from the central grid to mitigate the impact of the drought on agriculture.
Karnataka’s decision to challenge the CWRC’s order to release water to Tamil Nadu reflects the state’s commitment to protecting the interests of its farmers.
With the region grappling with a drought and power deficit, it is crucial to strike a balance between water allocation for irrigation and power generation.
The Cauvery water dispute remains a complex issue that requires careful consideration and effective management to ensure a fair and sustainable distribution of this precious resource.