Tamil Nadu CM to lead delegation to Bengaluru for water

At a cabinet meeting, Palaniswami announced that he would lead a high-powered delegation consisting of ministers from the Cauvery Delta region.

Chennai: Under pressure to save withering crops in the Cauvery Delta region, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will soon lead a delegation to his Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah to demand release of the state’s remaining share of 81 tmcft of water out of the stipulated 192 tmcft every year.

At a cabinet meeting, Palaniswami announced that he would lead a high-powered delegation consisting of ministers from the Cauvery Delta region, which depends on water released by Karnataka for irrigation, to Siddaramaiah to place Tamil Nadu’s demands before him personally.

“The meeting decided to send the delegation to save the samba crops in the Delta region by requesting Karnataka Government to release water from Cauvery. A formal letter seeking appointment of the Chief Minister of Karnataka has been sent to the state’s chief secretary and the CM’s principal secretary. A request in this regard has also been made through a telephone call,” an official statement said.

The decision was taken at the meeting chaired by Palaniswami and attended by deputy chief minister O. Panneerselvam, Forest Minister Dindigul C. Srinivasan, School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan, Electricity Minister P. Thangamani and Local Administration Minister S.P. Velumani and Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan.

Sources said the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues were briefed about the distress situation in the Cauvery delta region, where farmers are already up in arms demanding water from Karnataka to save withering crops. Farmers in the entire Delta region depend only on Cauvery water for cultivating and harvesting crops.

The decision by the Tamil Nadu Government came a day after farmers and political parties staged a rail roko in Tiruchy and Thanjavur among other towns in the region demanding the release of Cauvery water.

The sources said the delegation will consist of Food Minister R. Kamaraj, Handlooms Minister O.S. Manian and Agriculture Minister R. Duraikannu among others.

They also said the Tamil Nadu delegation will demand the release of remaining 81 tmcft of water. Palaniswami had on January 10 told the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the Karnataka government has only released 111 tmcft of water from the Cauvery River to Tamil Nadu against the stipulated 192 tmcft every year.

Karnataka has to release 192 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water to Tamil Nadu every year (May-April) according to the Cauvery Tribunal award in 2007. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry share Cauvery water.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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