Cauvery, Krishna and Pennar river basins: Bommai asserts Karnataka’s rights over river water

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Karnataka chief minister Basvaraj Bommai on Sunday reiterated the state’s rights over its share of river water and inter-linking projects at the 29th Southern Zonal Council meeting chaired by union home minister Amit Shah in temple town of Tirupati, about 250 km from Bengaluru.

“Karnataka has already conveyed its stand on river linking projects in Godavari, Cauvery and other river basins to (the) union government. Karnataka should get its share of surplus water in the Cauvery, Krishna and Pennar river basins,” Bommai said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy, Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Sounderajan, Puducherry chief minister N Rangaswamy participated in the meeting.

The statements come even as Karnataka continues to demand for necessary approvals from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union government for the contentious Mekedatu project that has been opposed by neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, two of India’s most industrious states, have fought for decades over Cauvery river and is a highly emotional and sensitive subject to people on both sides of the border.

Bommai urged the centre not to approve the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link works, initiated by Tamil Nadu, stating that this project is being undertaken even before allocation of the share of surplus waters for other states who have a share in the basin.

“He reiterated Karnataka’s demand to centre not to accord legal clearance for major permanent irrigation projects taken up by neighboring states in violation of the verdict of Water Disputes Tribunals,” according to a statement by the chief minister’s office (CMO) on Sunday.

He also said that neighbouring Telangana had no right to take up Palamaru Ranga Reddy and Nakkalagandi lift irrigation projects from Srisailam reservoir in Krishna basin to draw huge quantities of surplus waters.

He also opposed construction of Rajiv Gandhi Sangam Banda barrage by Telangana that proposes to draw surplus waters which he said would deprive Karnataka of its rightful share of water.

“Joint Survey should be conducted on the impending submergence of villages in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh due to construction of Gundrevula reservoir by Andhra Pradesh across Tungabhadra river. Andhra should share the details it has submitted to the Tribunal and the clearances it has obtained from the centre regarding the project,” according to the statement by the CMO.

He added that as far as sharing of Krishna water is concerned, both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had no clearance for any projects other than the ones approved for utilising the already adjudicated quantum of waters.

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