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Congress party slams BJP-ruled government of Karnataka on Cauvery River waters dispute

Bangalore, Sun, 14 Oct 2012 ANI

Bangalore, Oct.14 (ANI): The Karnataka unit of the Congress Party, which is the main opposition in state, has strongly questioned the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its lapses in presenting the state's case before the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) on the contentious issue of sharing waters with neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Senior Congress party functionaries met at Bangalore over the weekend to discuss the River Cauvery issue.

Later, Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka State Assembly, Siddaramaiah, said: "The Karnataka Government has miserably failed to bring to the notice of the CRA (Cauvery River Authority) and to the Supreme Court the ground realities that we are facing."

He claimed that Tamil Nadu has sufficient reserves of underground water unlike Karnataka, thereby advocating against the CRA's directive to release 9,000 cusecs of water from the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam.

"In Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu basin area, there is lot of underground reserve available, admittedly by Tamil Nadu that statement has been made before the Supreme Court and the tribunal that 45 tmcft is available in underground, it is a big (huge) quantity of water. And even if we dig 10 feet you can get the water there whereas in Karnataka the underground water is totally exploited," added Siddaramaiah.

On September 28, the Supreme Court passed an order indicting Karnataka for downplaying the CRA's decision of September 19.

An apex court bench of Justices D K Jain and Madan Lokur warned Karnataka that if it failed to comply with the CRA directive, it (the bench) would have to pass appropriate orders.

Karnataka resented this by contending the state is facing drought-like situation and several all-party sittings were held while farmers and pro-Kannada organisations intensified their protests.

The meet on that day had failed to produce a solution as both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu rejected the award of 9,000 cusecs of water by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-headed panel to save the standing crops in the delta regions of Tamil Nadu.

Sharing of river waters has been a bone of contention between the two neighbouring states for over three decades now.

Thousands across the state have been raising their voice against the CRA directive on sharing waters of River Cauvery with neighbouring Tamil Nadu and the Prime Minister's instructions to release 9000 cusecs of water from the KRS reservoir.

Consequently, the Karnataka Government submitted a petition to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to grant a stay on the decision of CRA.

Karnataka has already filed a plea before the CRA to reconsider its order in wake of rain deficiency and prevailing drought-like situation in the region. (ANI)

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