Bengaluru: The second special session of legislature convened on Monday, October 3 decided to modify its earlier resolution passed on September 23. The special session of the legislature has passed the resolution to release Cauvery water for irrigation as well as for drinking purpose.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T B Jayachandra moved the resolution in the Assembly. It may be recalled that the special session of the legislature convened on September 23 had passed a resolution to use Cauvery water in the four reservoirs for drinking purpose only.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that the state government would take all measures to ensure drinking water for Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru and other villages in Cauvery basin till June 2017. “There will be no shortage for drinking water. Now, we have taken the decision to release water for irrigation purpose since the water storage at four reservoirs is increased to 34.12 tmcft. Many farmers, including politicians, have demanded the state government to release water to save the standing crops in Cauvery basin,” Siddaramaiah said.
The Chief Minister had promised to protect the interests of farmers in the state. “I am committed to protect the interests of farmers in the state. My Government is a pro-farmer Government. I have to thank former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda for pressurizing the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to go ahead with the constitution of Cauvery Management Board,” the Chief Minister said.
He said that the state government has no intention to defy the Supreme Court order. “We have obeyed Supreme Court order. The state has been releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu all these years. We have released 383 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu in 2005-06, 258 tmcft in 2006-07, 253 tmcft in 253 tmcft, 210 tmcft in 2008-09, 222 tmcft in 2009-10, 211 tmcft in 2010-11, 240 tmcft in 2011-12, 100 tmcft in 2012-13 (distress year), 259 tmcft in 2013-14, 229 tmcft in 2014-15, 152 tmcft in 2015-16 (distress year) and 53.2 tmcft this year which is also a distress year,” he said.
Participating in the debate, Jagadish Shettar, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly suggested the state government to strengthen its legal team. “I welcome the state government’s decision to release Cauvery water for irrigation purpose. I want the Government to release Cauvery water to save the standing crops in Cauvery command area,” Shettar said.
Meanwhile, C T Ravi of BJP demanded the state government to explain about the quantum of water needed to save the standing crops in Cauvery command area.
Supporting the Government’s decision to modify the legislature’s resolution passed on September 23 and release water for irrigation purpose in Cauvery basin, H D Kumaraswamy, JD(S) leader had advised the state government to take all measures to avoid setback in the Supreme Court again since the hearing of review petition is scheduled for tomorrow. “I want the state government to waive the crop loan, provide suitable compensation and withdraw cases registered against those who participated in the agitation. The police have arrested innocent people. I want all of them released from the prison. I have no objection if police take action against anti-social elements,” Kumarswamy said.
K S Puttannaiah of Karnataka Sarvodaya Paksha demanded the state government to write a letter to the Chief Justice of Supreme Court appealing for the constitution of a special bench for agriculture on the lines of Green Bench. “We have already released 6080 tmcft of Cauvery water in the last 25 years to Tamil Nadu. I want the state government to waive off crop loans, give compensation to farmers who lost crops and withdraw cases against farmers,” Puttannaiah said.