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September 21, 1999
Karnataka turns down TN's plea for Cauvery water
Karnataka today expressed its inability to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as demanded by it to save paddy crops in the delta areas.
Major and minor irrigation minister K N Nage Gowda told newsmen today that Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had spoken to J H Patel twice last night and asked him to "try and help out" Tamil Nadu which had approached the Centre seeking release of 25 tmc ft water.
He said Patel, who held discussions this morning with the state officials, had informed Brajesh Mishra, principal secretary to the prime minister, that Karnataka could not release water to Tamil Nadu.
Patel also spoke to his Tamil Nadu counterpart M Karunanidhi, expressing inability to release water immediately in view of the shortfall within the state. The situation could be reviewed after first week of next month, Patel said.
Karunanidhi told Patel that he would contact him after discussing the issue in the cabinet.
Gowda said Tamil Nadu had no right to demand the release of water as there was still time to meet the deficit of 17.77 tmc ft. As per the Cauvery Water Tribunal award, Karnataka had to release 126.23 tmc ft to Tamil Nadu till September 19. The actual release measured at Biligundlu was 108.46 tmc ft, he added.
He said according to a clarificatory order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal issued in 1995, the accumulated deficit should be made good within the season. Gowda said it was premature to declare any distress situation. Tamil Nadu had adequate water to meet the irrigation requirements till the first week of next month, he claimed.
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