With a good monsoon in the offing, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has promised to release water from the Kabini dam to Tamil Nadu. The state government has been instructed to release 20,000 cusecs of water.
"By the grace of God, the monsoon has so far been good. I have instructed irrigation officials to release 20,000 cusecs from the Kabini dam. There is a bright chance for good monsoon rains this year. If the monsoon continues like this, water sharing will be smooth," he said outside the Sri Meenakshi temple in Madurai on Friday.
The Kabini damn in Mysuru is the central dam from which Karnataka releases water to Tamil Nadu. The Kaveri Water Sharing Authority asked the Karnataka government to release 10 TMC in June, which Kumaraswamy said he is happy to do.
The state has received heavy rains during the past couple of weeks, especially in the northern Karnataka region. Looks like the Congress-JD(S) coalition is using the benefit in an attempt to improve relations with the neighbour. The heavy rainfall has led to filling up of the catchment areas of rivers and heavy inflows into dams in the state.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan took to Twitter to express his happiness at the decision. Earlier this month, the founder of the Makkal Needhi Maiam met Kumaraswamy in his residence to talk about the issue.
Spoke to @CMofKarnataka. Expressed My pleasure on the opening of Kabini. Ultimately even after the Cauvery water management Authority starts functioning, only goodwill between the two States will open many more shut doors.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) June 15, 2018
The Kaveri water row has been a central point of conflict between the two states for over a hundred years. The river is the primary source of irrigation for farmers in majority of the regions in both states. In 2016, the situation worsened when riots broke out in Bengaluru and Mandya, with protestors damaging TN registered vehicles. This was only ended by the government imposing Section 144 in a bid to curb the violence.
Under the former Congress rule, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah refused to release water to Tamil Nadu despite the Supreme Court ordering the government to do so. He argued that there was no water in the state.