Bangalore, September 11: An all-party meeting convened by Karnataka government today resolved to urge the Cauvery River Authority headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to evolve a distress formula based on ground realities on sharing of the river waters with Tamil Nadu and other riparian states.
A consensus to this effect was reached at a meeting of floor leaders of political parties in the state legislature, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who convened the meeting ahead of the CRA meeting to be held on September 19 in Delhi, told reporters here.
He said the state would explain at the CRA meeting the prevailing drought condition, inadequate rainfall and drinking water problems in Karnataka.
Shettar would hold another round of floor leaders' meeting on September 15 before attending the CRA meeting. "Karnataka MPs also will participate in the meeting," he added.
Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai said Karnataka's consistent stand from 2002 had been that the distress formula should be based on ground realities. "In fact, we have been pressing for distress formula, not Tamil Nadu," he contended.
In a goodwill gesture, Karnataka government agreed before the Supreme Court last week to release 10,000 cusecs of water from Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu till September 20.
In the wake of the gesture, the court refused to pass any order on Tamil Nadu's plea for direction to its neighbouring state to release 2 TMC of water.
Leader of the Opposition Congress in the assembly Siddaramaiah said the opposition leaders requested the Chief Minister to strongly put forth before the CRA that Karnataka was not in a position to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu because of the prevailing drought condition and drinking water problems.
Siddaramaiah said admittedly 30 TMC of water was available in Mettur Dam and hence there is sufficient water with Tamil Nadu.
"The neighbouring state is also on the verge of experiencing north east monsoon. Such being the case, Tamil Nadu's position is better than us as far as distress is concerned.
They are more comfortable and there is no need to release water to Tamil Nadu for now," he said.
He said out of the 146 drought-hit taluks in the state, 45 were in the Cauvery basin. The state will not get rains till the next monsoon season in June, he said.
JD(S) floor leader H D Revanna also attended the meeting.