Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar Wednesday appealed to the people of Cauvery basin to maintain peace and promised to protect the interest of farmers on the water sharing issue.
In the wake of protests in parts of Mandya district and in Davanagere by various organisations against water release to Tamil Nadu, Shettar said his government would not sacrifice the interests of farmers.
He said he had already held a meeting of Opposition leaders yesterday and another round of consultations would be held on September 15.
During the Cauvery River Authority meeting being chaired by Prime Minister Manomohan Singh on September 19, Karnataka would place its views and convince that the state was not in a position to release more water under the prevailing circumstances, Shettar said.
"I appeal to them that their protests should be peaceful. Interests of farmers would be protected by the government. We will convince the Prime Minister on the drought situation prevailing in Karnataka and also the acute shortage of drinking water," he said.
A report from Mandya said the outflow from K R S reservoir has increased this morning and 6330 cusecs of outflow maintained as against inflow of 8820 cusecs. The water level at the reservoir stood at 110.38 ft as against the maximum level of 124 ft.
Karnataka has told the Supreme Court that it will release 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from today and has pressed the CRA for a new distress sharing formula.
KRS Superintendent Engineer Shankar Gowda said the government had not issued any direction for releasing water.
Police have stepped up security at the KRS reservoir.
Members of Raitha Sangha, a farmer`s movement, and Cauvery Basin Farmers Protection Committee have been staging protests opposing water release to Tamil Nadu.