"There is deficit rainfall in the Cauvery basin area, so in the present situation it will be difficult to release water for irrigation purpose," he told a delegation of farmers from Tamil Nadu who met him here. According to the CMO officials, Siddaramaiah said if there were good rains in the days to come and the situation improved, water would be released.
The farmer leaders, who met the Chief Minister at his residence, requested him to release water for samba crop in nine lakh acres, stating that in the absence of water, they might have to face difficulty due to crop damage. Pointing out that the water level at dams in the Cauvery basin area had not reached expected levels, Siddaramaiah said the situation was such that there would be difficulty in providing drinking water.
"In this circumstance, we will be unable to release water even under distress formula. Please understand our situation," he told the farmers. Siddaramaiah has called the meeting of floor leaders of the state Legislative Assembly and the Council on August 27 to discuss Tamil Nadu's repeated demands for release of water and the situation in Cauvery basin area due to deficit rain fall.
Union ministers from the state and district-in-charge ministers from Cauvery basin area have also been invited for the meeting, officials said. The Tamil Nadu government has moved the Supreme Court to get its share of Cauvery water.
Siddaramaiah had recently said his government was also ready for the legal battle. Speaking to reporters on the issue, Karnataka Water Resources minister M B Patil said the state government will apprise the Supreme Court, Centre and Cauvery Supervisory Committee about the situation.
"Tamil Nadu is demanding the release of water. Chief Minister has already said that water is not sufficient for drinking water supply. We have cautioned our farmers about the situation and crops they are going to undertake, but Tamil Nadu is asking for Samba crop. It is a very difficult situation," he said.
On the proposed Mekedatu dam project across Cauvery River, which is being opposed by Tamil Nadu, Patil said Detailed Project Report (DPR) was ready and the draft of it will be placed before the Cabinet next week. It would be a Rs 5,900 crore project and there would be no shortage of funds, he said, adding it would not affect Tamil Nadu's interests.
Patil said the dam would have a capacity of 67 TMC, bigger than KRS (Krishna Raja Sagar) which can store 45 TMC of water.
Noting that Tamil Nadu was having objections to the project, Patil said, "We will disclose the project to the Supreme Court, Central Water Commission and concerned Central government ministries. We will proceed with the project legally, convincing every one.
The project we have prepared is very clear, it is practically feasible." Stating that the project will be initiated in this government's tenure itself, Patil added it will also have a 300 MW power generation facility.