Cauvery: Siddaramaiah defends release of water to TN

Cauvery: Siddaramaiah defends release of water to TN

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Hassan (Karnataka):  Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today defended the release of water from reservoirs built across river Cauvery to Tamil Nadu, even as farmers continued their agitation for the fourth day in Mandya and Mysuru Districts demanding immediate stoppage of the release. "As per Tribunal direction we have to release the water to Tamil Nadu otherwise the neighbouring State will approach the Supreme Court. We are releasing water only when there is availability and never ignored the interests of the farmers," he added. Talking to newsmen here, Mr Siddaramaiah, who arrived here for Congress Zonal Conference, said that "we are also against release of the water, but since Tribunal direction cannot be ignored, we were forced to release. But the government is committed to protect the interests of the farmers." Replying to a question on the Tamil Nadu Government alleging that the details in the report on the proposed Mekedatu Project by Karnataka were false and will not allow the project to be taken up, Mr Siddaramaiah said that "the Tamil Nadu government is always objecting without studying how far it benefits them. In fact the Balancing Reservoir will ensure that they get their share of water and completion of the project will benefit them more besides Karnataka ensuring drinking water supply to parched districts and generation of power." Addressing the agitators at Mandya, Farmers leader K S Puttannaiah alleged that the State Government is releasing water even before the water level reached full capacity in the reservoirs. The release of water should be stopped immediately otherwise the agitation will be further intensified from tomorrow by laying siege to Deputy Commissioner's office. Vehicle movement was badly affected on the busy Bengaluru - Mysuru State Highway as agitators blocked the road. The agitators are also demanding waiver of farmers loan availed from Public Sector Banks as well as Cooperative institutions by Union and the State Governments. 

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