Cong, BJP leaders meet PM over Cauvery water row
New Delhi: Cutting across party lines, Congress and BJP leaders from Karnataka on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to voice concern over the decision of the Cauvery River Authority asking the state to provide Tamil Nadu with 9000 cusecs of water daily and sought a review.
Union Ministers from Karnataka belonging to Congress and BJP MPs from the state held separate meetings with Singh where they tried to impress upon him about the "grim" situation in the state.
While Karnataka ministers, including SM Krishna, Mallikarjun Kharge and KH Muniyappa told the Prime Minister that the situation was "grim" in the state, BJP MPs demanded reviewing the order of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) which had asked the state to provide 9000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu between September 20 and October 15.
"We requested him to resolve the problem at the earliest...The situation is very grim. That is why we have asked the Prime Minister to resolve the situation," Kharge told reporters after the meeting.
He said the party leaders also explained to Singh the drinking water situation, particularly in Bangalore, Mandya, Hasan and Mysore as well as the standing crops which are facing water scarcity.
"Rainy season is over in Cauvery basin in Karnataka. Monsoon will begin in Tamil Nadu. The priority has to be drinking water, whichever is the state. The Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) has to place the factual situation. Based on that the Prime Minister will take a decision," Muniyappa said.
A central team is visiting the two states and will report to CMC which is meeting on October 11 to decide on the quantity of water to be released by Karnataka after October 15.
The BJP delegation comprising 16 MPs from Karnataka met Singh to inform him that the water level in the state's reservoirs was decreasing while the requirements have gone up.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, party MP Ananth Kumar said, "We have been releasing 21 tmcft of water for the last 20 days. Therefore, we urge the Prime Minister that he should review his decision and give a stay order forthwith for giving any more water from today itself."
Earlier today, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar met Krishna here amid demands by Karnataka leaders for a review of CRA's decision.
Last week, Krishna had written to the Prime Minister requesting him to stop further release of water to Tamil Nadu and to seek a report from the team that has been deputed to assess the water situation.
Krishna had said the situation was grim in Cauvery irrigation areas and also in Bangalore following depleted water levels in dams after release of water.