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No Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu for now

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Karnataka has ruled out releasing Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu for the present as the storage level at the Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir continues to be a low 98 feet.

The Water Resources Minister, Mallikharjun Kharge, told a television channel on Sunday that water from the Kabini reservoir is already flowing into Tamil Nadu as that reservoir is near full.

He was reacting to the letter written by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa complaining that Karnataka has not released water to the Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu and requesting the convening of a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority.

Mr. Kharge, who has been appointed President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said Tamil Nadu has been resorting to the tactics of writing letters to pressure Karnataka to release Cauvery water to it. "We will not yield to such tactics," he said.

Farmers threaten stir

Ms. Jayalalithaa's plea for release of Cauvery waters has already evoked a hostile reception from farmers' leaders in Mandya district.

They have threatened to launch an agitation if the State Government yields to Tamil Nadu's "pressure tactics." They have noted that for want of adequate release of water from Krishnaraja Sagar, they are unable to irrigate their lands. However, farmers in the Kabini reservoir command area, who too are known for their militant stand on water releases to Tamil Nadu, are maintaining silence this year as the reservoir is near full and there is no alternative except to discharge water.

For the month of July, the calendar of releases lays down the release of 42.76 tmcft of water.

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