Thus, this decision will mean that Karnataka will indirectly release water to Tamil Nadu too, for agriculture purpose.

 

Speaking at the state Assembly, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “We are in a federal system. We had decided to use water for drinking purpose only when there was not sufficient water. But as it is raining from 10 days we have received nearly 7 TMC of water.”

 

“It is our duty to provide water for our farmers. We need 43.5 TMC and water to provide for irrigation and 23.5 TMC water for drinking purpose here. We might get 29.29 TMC water until December (considering the average rainfall for 43 years).”

 

“Our previous Assembly decision had said that we would take a decision on releasing water for farmers considering the availability of water during that time,” he read out from the order.

 

Justifying the stance, CM Siddaramaiah said that on September 23 when the decision was taken not to release water to Tamil Nadu, the water level in four reservoirs was only 27.6 TMC

 

“When discussed with water experts, the water sufficient for drinking till June and can’t be used for irrigation either here or in Tamil Nadu. But the Supreme Court on September 20 directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water every day from 21 to 27 to release.

 

“On Sept 21, we convened an all-party meeting attended by former PM Deve Gowda, ministers, MLAs, etc. and we decided not to release water as we had a shortage; considering in flow, monsoon we took that decision,” he said.

 

“We did not aim at coming into conflict with the Supreme Court. We have released water in almost all previous orders of the SC. We requested the court that we cannot release water only when we did not have sufficient water to drink,” said Siddaramaiah.

 

“The right to pure water and drinking water is a Fundamental Right. No justification can absolve the state’s responsibility of providing drinking water, says National Water Policy,” he quoted.

 

“I thank former PM Deve Gowda for his wholehearted support. I also extend my happiness for the support shown by the opposition parties JD(S) and BJP,” he said.

 

"JD(S) Supremo Deve Gowda initially said that main petition will come for hearing on October 18, so we should release water till then, for the welfare of the state in the long run. But when it came to no drinking water for people of the Cauvery basin in the state, he too asked me not to release water.”

 

"Many farmers listened to us and did not sow any crop. This too is a loss to them. We have not released water from September 17. But now all the crops that have been sown are going to wither, so we are forced to release water.

 

Now due to rain, we have 34.1 TMC water in our four reservoirs. So we are in a position to release water as we have almost 6 TMC of additional water when compared to the water level on September 23," the CM said. 

 

Thanking all support, Siddaramaiah praised leaders Deve Gowda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union leaders Ananthkumar and Ramesh Jigajinagi for supporting Karnataka’s cause.

 

Following the announcement by the state government, all the gates of KRS, Kabini, Harangi and Hemavati were opened on Monday night. A total of  2,856 cusecs of water released has been released for Karnataka and 4,000 cusecs of water is being released for Tamil Nadu. 
 

 

The apex court has sought a report from Karnataka by 2 pm tomorrow on the compliance of its order of September 30.