Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has said that his government will not allow Tamil Nadu to use surplus water from the inter-state Cauvery river and will take strong measures to protect the state’s interests.
The Cauvery river water sharing dispute erupted again after the Tamil Nadu government on Sunday laid the foundation for the Rs 14,400 crore 262-km river-linking project – Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar – river interlinking project, will divert 6,300 cubic feet of surplus water during floods and increase the groundwater levels in southern districts to meet drinking water needs.
Yediyurappa on Monday told reporters that the state government has decided to file objections before the Centre against the project. “We will not allow it. We are taking strong measures. We will not allow Tamil Nadu or others to use surplus water,” he said.
Replying to a question, he shot back there was no use to issue statements in such issues.
After emerging out of the meeting with the state’s legal team on the inter-state water dispute in Delhi, Karnataka major and medium irrigation minister Ramesh Jarkiholi said that the state will apprise the Central Government over Tamil Nadu’s river interlinking project.
Jarkiholi, who met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday, had said that the state will take all steps to protect its interests.
“We will soon convene an all-party meeting to seek their opinion,” he said.
Karnataka is of the stand that after ensuring 177.25 tmc feet of water to Tamil Nadu in a normal year at Biligundlu water gauging centre, the rest belongs to the state, which includes its share of 284.75 tmc feet and surplus water available.
Meanwhile, both opposition parties in Karnataka – Congress and JD(S) – too opposed Tamil Nadu’s move to divert the surplus water.
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah terming Tamil Nadu’s move to take up the river interlinking project as ‘illegal’. “The Chief Minister of that state should stop it immediately,” he said on Twitter.
In a tweet, Siddarmaiah also asked the Karnataka Chief Minister to question the project in the Supreme Court, and write to his Tamil Nadu counterpart asking him to drop the project.
In a series of tweets, another former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy expressing surprise over the project of this magnitude not coming to the notice of the Karnataka government.
He also alleged that the union government was funding this project.
Pointing out at the Tamil Nadu government’s objections to the state’s Mekedatu project, Kumarswamy said Tamil Nadu had been objecting to this as it will not get surplus water if the dam comes up. “We will not allow even a drop of surplus water being used by them,” he said.