Courts Cannot Resolve Cauvery Dispute Permanently: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy
Alternatively, Kumaraswamy has pushed for talks saying Kannadigas and Tamils were not enemies.
Tirupathi/Bengaluru: Facing a fresh bout of litigation by Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery issue, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy Tuesday said the decades old dispute “is not going to be solved permanently” by the judiciary and pitched for talks between the two states.
Striking a note of cordiality, he said Kannadigas and Tamils were not enemies and the inter-state river water should be shared accordingly at times of copious inflows and distress situation.
Kumaraswamy’s push for talks, the second time since last week, came amid the fresh face-off between the two states over Karnataka’s proposal to construct a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu across Cauvery. Tamil Nadu is opposing the move, insisting such a dam will affects its farmers.
Tamil Nadu has already approached the Supreme Court over the Mekedatu issue while hinting that it was not in favour of Karnataka’s proposal to hold consultations on the row, which came to fore after the Centre gave its approval for a Detailed Project Report.
The state assembly has passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the nod for the DPR and ensure that no new construction was taken up by Karnataka, saying any such move would violate the Supreme Court’s February verdict and the Cauvery water dispute tribunal’s final order on sharing of the river waters.
Speaking to reporters here after offering prayers at the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, Kumaraswamy said Kannadigas and Tamils were “like brothers and sisters.”
“We are not enemies. I have already requested leaders of all Tamil Nadu political parties and the state government — this (Cauvery) issue is not going to be solved permanently by judiciary. We must sit and sort it out,” he said.
Cauvery water should be shared accordingly at times of copious rains and a mechanism should be put in place for distress periods too as this was in the interest of both the states and their farmers, he said, adding, this was his “personal vision.”
Last week also, Kumaraswamy had batted for dialogue to sort out differences over sharing of Cauvery water as well as the proposed Mekedatu dam.
Pointing to a large quantity of water released by Karnataka during monsoon season going waste, he had also maintained that the proposed dam would help in storing more water that can meet Tamil Nadu’s requirements.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar also sought to reach out to Tamil Nadu on Mekedatu project, saying both the states should work for the benefit of each other.
“We appeal to them, I’m also going to meet our Parliament members tomorrow. We are doing no harm to them (Tamil Nadu), ” he told reporters in Belagavi in Karnataka while replying to a question about the protest by Tamil Nadu MPs in the current session of Parliament against the project.
Shivakumar, who had earlier written to Tamil Nadu proposing dialogue, said the opposition to the Mekedatu project was due to “misconception” and claimed it would in fact help farmers of the lower riparian state.
“We cannot use a single drop of water for irrigation, we have chosen such a place-Mekedatu- for the project,” he added.
The Central Water Commission to the best of its ability and knowledge had given permission for preparing the DPR, he said.
“We are only at that stage, it is on our soil… we will respect the law of this country, we will respect the Supreme Court… I once again appeal to people of Tamil Nadu, be calm, we are brothers. Let us work together for the benefit of both of us,” he added.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Siddaramaiah claimed “legally and factually”, Tamil Nadu had no case at all on the issue of Mekedatu.
Asserting that Tamil Nadu would not be effected by the project and would get its “due share” as per the apex court verdict, he said “I don’t know why they are raising their voice.”
In its February 16 verdict, the top court had increased Karnataka’s share of water from Cauvery by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s quantum while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin.
Maintaining that the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”, the top court enhanced Karnataka’s share from 270 tmcft to 284.75 tmcft, accounting for drinking and domestic requirements, while lowering Tamil Nadu’s share of water from 419 tmcft to 404.25 tmcft.
With the Mekedatu move drawing opposition from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka had sought Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s appointment to discuss about the project and reach an amicable solution.
The Tamil Nadu government had termed the move for talks as an “attempt to impede” court proceedings.