It is not possible to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Saturday after his counterpart Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to him requesting for 15 thousand million cubic feet, or TMC, of water for his state.
“We do not have water. How can we supply to them?” Siddaramaiah said in New Delhi, PTI reported. “It is not possible to release water to Tamil Nadu.”
The Karnataka chief minister also said Karnataka expected a “favourable order” when the Supreme Court hears the Cauvery water dispute case in February. He was in the national Capital on Saturday to attend a meeting called by Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
In his letter, Palaniswami said water in the Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu was “grossly inadequate” to meet irrigation needs of farmers and for people’s drinking water needs. He asked Karnataka to release 7 TMC of water from the Cauvery basin immediately, and the remaining 8 TMC within a fortnight. He said this was a feasible request as Karnataka’s crop season was over, but Tamil Nadu’s had to be extended because farmers had to replant crops destroyed by an intense North East monsoon.
The water-sharing dispute
Palaniswami’s letter comes just weeks after the Supreme Court said it would pronounce its verdict on the Cauvery dispute by early February.
In September 2017, a three-judge bench reserved its verdict in the case after hearing appeals from Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu against the 2007 order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal. The tribunal ruled the river water be shared between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.