Bengaluru: The Karnataka government will not allow anyone to use surplus water from the inter-state Cauvery river and will take strong measures to protect the state's interests, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Monday, amid concerns regarding river interlinking project being undertaken by neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday laid the foundation for the first phase of the Rs 14,400 crore Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar river interlinking project, aimed at diverting over 6,000 cubic ft of surplus water to drier areas in southern districts.
"We will not allow it....there is no use by just giving statements, for no reason we will allow Tamil Nadu or others to use surplus water, we will take strong measures, necessary measures are being taken," Yediuyurappa told reporters here in response to a question.
Asked whether he will be calling an all-party meeting regarding the issue, he said, "we have not thought about it yet."
Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who held a meeting with the state's legal team on inter-state water dispute in Delhi on Sunday, had said that the state will apprise the Centre of its concern over Tamil Nadu's river interlinking project, aimed at utilising surplus Cauvery water.
Jarkiholi, who is likely to meet Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday had said that the state will take all steps to protect its interests and had also indicated about the government holding an all-party meeting to seek their opinion.
Karnataka is of the stand that after ensuring 177.25 tmc feet 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.
The 262 km-long project envisages diverting surplus water in Cauvery to Gundar river through a canal and the first of the three phases will cover about 118 km, Tamil Nadu has said, adding Cauvery, South Vellar, Vaigai and Gundar rivers will be interlinked in this major intra-state water project.
Not willing to give any response to a question on the ongoing agitation by Panchamasali Linngayat community demanding 2A reservation, Yediyurappa merely said, Ministers and legislators from the community will be holding a press meet later in the day.
Yediyurappa, who also holds the finance portfolio and will be presenting the state budget on March 8 said, pre- budget meetings with all the departments will end today and from tomorrow we will do all the necessary preparations for the budget....