K’taka CM says courts cannot resolve Cauvery dispute permanently, pushes for talks


Team Udayavani, Dec 18, 2018, 7:20 PM IST

Tirupati/Bengaluru: Facing a fresh bout of litigation by Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery issue, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said the decades-old dispute “is not going to be solved permanently” by the judiciary and pitched for talks between the two states.

Striking a note of cordiality, he said Kannadigas and Tamils were not enemies and the inter-state river water should be shared accordingly at times of copious inflows and distress situation. Kumaraswamy’s push for talks, the second time since last week, came amid the fresh face-off between the two states over Karnataka’s proposal to construct a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu across Cauvery.

Tamil Nadu is opposing the move, insisting such a dam will affect its farmers. Tamil Nadu has already approached the Supreme Court over the Mekedatu issue while hinting that it was not in favour of Karnataka’s proposal to hold consultations on the row, which came to fore after the Centre gave its approval for a Detailed Project Report. The state assembly has passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the nod for the DPR and ensure that no new construction was taken up by Karnataka, saying any such move would violate the Supreme Court’s February verdict and the Cauvery water dispute tribunal’s final order on sharing of the river waters.

Speaking to reporters here after offering prayers at the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, Kumaraswamy said Kannadigas and Tamils were “like brothers and sisters.” “We are not enemies. I have already requested leaders of all Tamil Nadu political parties and the state government – this (Cauvery) issue is not going to be solved permanently by the judiciary. We must sit and sort it out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar also sought to reach out to Tamil Nadu on Mekedatu project, saying both the states should work for the benefit of each other. “We appeal to them, I’m also going to meet our Parliament members tomorrow. We are doing no harm to them (Tamil Nadu), ” he told reporters in Belagavi in Karnataka while replying to a question about the protest by Tamil Nadu MPs in the current session of Parliament against the project.

Shivakumar, who had earlier written to Tamil Nadu proposing dialogue, said the opposition to the Mekedatu project was due to “misconception” and claimed it would, in fact, help farmers of the lower riparian state. “We cannot use a single drop of water for irrigation, we have chosen such a place-Mekedatu- for the project,” he added. 

Meanwhile, former chief minister Siddaramaiah claimed “legally and factually”, Tamil Nadu had no case at all on the issue of Mekedatu. Asserting that Tamil Nadu would not be affected by the project and would get its “due share” as per the apex court verdict, he said, “I don’t know why they are raising their voice.” I

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