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Cauvery basin farmers threaten to revive stir
Fakir Chand in Bangalore | January 14, 2003 01:43 IST
Amidst conflicting reports from New Delhi that Karnataka has agreed to release about 1200 cusecs of Cauvery water daily to Tamil Nadu till the end of February, thousands of farmers in the river basin have threatened to revive their agitation.
Cauvery Horata Samithi president G Made Gowda told reporters in Mandya town, about 100km from Bangalore, on Monday night that the farmers would be meeting on Tuesday to chalk out an action plan.
"We will revive the agitation to prevent the state government from releasing any water to Tamil Nadu," Made Gowda said. "Enough water has been released so far. Whatever is left in the Kabini and Krishnarajasagar dams is hardly sufficient to meet the requirements of drinking water and standing crops till the onset of the next monsoon in June-July 2003."
Police have tightened security at the reservoirs in Mysore and Mandya districts. Prohibitory orders have also been issued to prevent protests by farmers turning violent. Similar angry protests had paralysed road and rail traffic for over two months last year in the Bangalore-Mysore region after Karnataka agreed to release 8,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu on the Supreme Court's order.
"Karnataka has no water to spare. The Krishna government will be betraying the cause of farmers by letting out water at a time when the state is facing a water shortage to irrigate farmlands in the districts of Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajnagar," Made Gowda said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister S M Krishna returned to Bangalore from New Delhi on Monday night to take stock of the situation arising from the prime minister's directive to release some water to Tamil Nadu as a goodwill gesture.
Krishna contended that about 800-1,000 cusecs of water is already flowing into the Mettur dam from Karnataka by gravitational flow and seepage. "The prime minister," he said, "has asked Karnataka to release some more water to Tamil Nadu as a goodwill measure. We will study the ground situation and consider the request."
Cauvery Water Dispute: The Complete Coverage