Saturday, Jul 13, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Mr. Patil, who was replying to a question from the JD(U) Floor Leader, P.G.R. Sindhia, on the quantum of water released to Tamil Nadu in the past three years, dismissed as baseless his contention that the State was releasing water to Tamil Nadu at the Biligundlu point at the cost of its own farmers.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa, had been apprised of the ground realities by the State, but she brought pressure on the Prime Minister, who asked the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, to consider her request for release of water. The State had, however, made it clear that the situation was so bad it could not do so.
Asked about the State's stand on the several prayers Tamil Nadu had made in its petition to the Supreme Court, Mr. Patil said there was no change in its stand, and observed that the dams in the State could not be subjected to technical supervision or management by anybody as they were not balancing reservoirs for Tamil Nadu, but ones meant to help State's farmers.
Mr. Patil said it was unnecessary for Tamil Nadu to approach the Supreme Court with such a prayer, as there could be no better forum than a committee headed by the Prime Minister.
The Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, D.B. Chandre Gowda, who intervened, pointed out that the petition of Tamil Nadu was in the admission stage, and the State's case would be taken care of by F.S. Nariman, one of the best advocates.
The Advocate General was already seized of the matter, he said.
Meeting this week
Mr. Patil reiterated that there was no change in the Government's stand, and said the Chief Minister had suggested to him four days ago to convene a meeting with the leaders of the Opposition parties before finalising its stand before the Supreme Court, and the meeting might be called this week.
Mr. Patil also offered to take Mr. Sindhia to the KRS and the Kabini to prove there was no release of water to Tamil Nadu. (Mr. Sindhia had insisted he had seen water flowing to Tamil Nadu at the Biligundlu point, and said the Government should have taken the Opposition into confidence by now on the stand to be taken by it, but had not done so, as its attention was on other activities, meaning reshuffle of the ministry.)
Earlier, Mr. Patil said the State was worried about the poor water storage because of the failure of the monsoon. While the live capacity of Harangi was 2.49 tmcft., it was 2.13 tmcft. in the case of the Hemavathi.
The K.R. Sagar had no live capacity, while that of the Kabini was 6.9 tmcft.
Therefore, there was no question of releasing water to Tamil Nadu as stated by Mr. Sindhia, he added.
In his written reply, Mr. Patil said though the quantum of water the State was to release to Tamil Nadu was 205 tmcft. a year, under the interim order of the Cauvery Tribunal, the release was in excess in 1999-2000 (273.18 tmcft.) and 2000-2001 (316.89 tmcft.).
In 2001-2002, it was 189.94 tmcft. Currently, the gross storage was 8.56 tmcft.
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