Chennai: Karnataka Water Minister DK Shivakumar on Thursday called for finding an amicable solution to the long pending Cauvery water sharing dispute with Tamil Nadu. “The Government of Karnataka desires to have an amicable solution to the issue of Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir-cum-Drinking Water project,” Shivakumar stated in the letter written to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami.
“You (TN Chief Minister) are aware that the river Cauvery is the lifeline of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and is very sacred for the people of both the states. Governments and people of both the states desire to have a permanent solution on the issues pertaining to Cauvery. In this regard, I wish to bring to your notice that the Government of Karnataka desires to have an amicable solution to the issue of the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir-cum-Drinking Water project,” he stated in the letter.
In his letter, the 56-year-old Karnataka Water Minister further stated, “This project will also help in regulating the releases in such a judicious manner that the excess water during good monsoon is not allowed to flow from the Mettur dam into the sea unnecessarily as has happened during the current year.”
“It appears that some misconceptions about the proposed project have occurred in the minds of the Government of people of Tamil Nadu, though the actual reality of the project is different,” the letter reads. Shivakumar urged Tamil Nadu to present the project details of the Cauvery river water and also hold a discussion on the same at a convenient time.
This water dispute dates back to the 1970s and has its origin in two agreements signed between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and the Princely State of Mysore in 1892 and 1924 in which it was decided to divide the river water between the two states, which lapsed in 1974.
Tamil Nadu then asked the Congress-ruled government at the Centre to form a tribunal to look into the diversion of water and ensure that it gets its due share. When the Centre did not pay heed to Tamil Nadu’s demand, it approached the Supreme Court, which, in May 1990, ordered the creation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
In its later order, the apex court had pronounced that Karnataka is given an additional 14.75 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of the river water while 177.25 TMC of water be released for Tamil Nadu. The allocation of Karnataka which used to be 270 TMC has been increased to 284.75 TMC.