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Karnataka agrees to release 'some water'
January 13, 2003 18:31 IST
Karnataka on Monday agreed to release 'some water' to Tamil Nadu, Water Resources Minister Arjun Sethi said.
"Details of the quantity of water to be released will be worked out at a meeting of experts from the states and my ministry today," he said on the separate meetings that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her counterpart from Karnataka, S M Krishna.
Sethi said this will be an 'informal arrangement', as the Cauvery River Water Authority meeting could not take place due to lack of quorum in the absence of chief ministers from Kerala and Pondicherry.
The minister said Jayalalithaa has requested the prime minister to ask Karnataka to release a 'huge quantity' of water on the basis of earlier orders of the tribunal.
"As a goodwill gesture, the Kartanaka chief minister agreed to release some water to meet the distress situation in Tamil Nadu," Sethi said.
Water is scarce in both the states due to the failure of the monsoon, he said, adding that the quantum to be released by Karnataka will be worked out keeping in view the state's own requirements for standing crops and drinking.
Emerging from the meeting, Krishna said that he has explained to Vajpayee the difficulties and hardships being faced by the state.
He said some discussions will continue at the technical level.
Asked how much water Karnataka is prepared to release to Tamil Nadu, he said, "We cannot say what is acceptable."
He said one has to keep in mind orders of the Cauvery tribunal and the Supreme Court, and also ensure that the state's interests are safeguarded.
He said 800-1000 cusecs of water is already being given to Tamil Nadu. This is being ensured through the Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu.
Cauvery Water Dispute: The Complete Coverage