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Cauvery water dispute: DK Shivakumar calls for cooperation between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu


Bengaluru: Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, said that he is aiming for a peaceful resolution in the Cauvery water dispute.

He highlighted the importance of peaceful coexistence between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in relation to the Cauvery River water-sharing issue. Amidst the ongoing disagreement over water allocation, Shivakumar stated that fostering amicable relations between the two neighboring states was his priority, reported ANI.

Following a Supreme Court directive to constitute a dedicated bench for the Cauvery River water-sharing dispute, DK Shivakumar explained that while the court had ordered the release of 24,000 cusecs of water daily, Karnataka also grapples with its own water scarcity concerns.

"SC has ordered to form a separate bench. Till August, they asked us to release 10,000 cusecs. Our demand is we need time at least we are out of shortage of water in our dams," he said.

Responding to comments from former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who had suggested that Karnataka's water release was aimed at appeasing Tamil Nadu, Shivakumar urged all parties to treat each other with respect. He extended this sentiment to HDK and BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai, asserting that understanding and collaboration should be their guiding principles.

"We have nothing to do with what TN uses water for. Why should we question what they (Tamil Nadu) use water for? They might be using it for their crops. We have not released more water as alleged by BJP and JDS. We know what JDS and BJP did when they were in power in the state regarding the issue. The Centre could have filed an affidavit in this regard but they didn't. We have all the details of how much water we have released. I'll release all details," the Deputy CM said.

Refusing to speak on behalf of other parties, Shivakumar emphasised his role as a responsible leader accountable to both farmers and the Supreme Court in managing this complex issue.

"Safeguarding of farmers is our responsibility. That's what we are doing. Our people and the farmers know what BJP and JDS are doing. We released water for the benefit of our farmers," he added.

Aiming to address the longstanding Cauvery water dispute, the Karnataka state government has convened an all-party meeting on August 23. Senior parliament members have also been invited to participate, indicating a collaborative approach to finding a solution.

"We are ready to take their suggestion, if they want us to take all party delegation we are ready to take it. There are also tigers, forests, and many other issues. We'll discuss everything. We have filed an appeal before Cauvery Water Authority (CWA). We'll discuss with our legal team along with all parties, we'll discuss how to behave at distress conditions and formula. It's a settled issue about water management," Shivakumar elaborated.

The Cauvery water-sharing dispute has persisted as a contentious issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for several decades. Both states are engaged in a longstanding battle over the division of water resources from the Cauvery River, which serves as a crucial source of irrigation and drinking water for millions in the region.

The formation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in 1990 by the Central Government aimed to address conflicts between Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Puducherry regarding water-sharing capacities.

Tamil Nadu's recent application seeks Karnataka's immediate release of 24,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of water, as well as adherence to the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's stipulation of releasing 36.76 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) by September 2023.

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