Will resolve water disputes through talks, says Patil

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PATILBijapur, July 1;Asserting that inter-State water sharing disputes cannot be resolved legally, Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation M.B. Patil has said the State government’s emphasis is on resolving the disputes through negotiations.

Karnataka had been facing water sharing disputes for long with States such as Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Give and take policy was the best for resolving such disputes, he told The Hindu here on Sunday. Taking legal recourse would only harm the interests of the people of the disputing States, he added. “We are ready for talks with others States. At the same time, we will ensure that the interests of Karnataka are not sacrificed. We can always arrive at a formula that will be in the best interests of the disputing States,” he said.

Stating that the State government was getting positive response from the Maharashtra government on water issues, he added that he would soon meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to discuss the Cauvery issue. “In the coming days, I plan to meet the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Goa too to discuss water sharing issues,” he said.

When his response was sought on the contempt of court petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Tamil Nadu government against the Karnataka Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary and the Major and Medium Irrigation Minister accusing the State of not adhering to the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s direction on releasing Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, Mr. Patil said he was yet to receive a notice from the apex court.

On releasing Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, Mr. Patil said officials were yet to ascertain the availability of water in the reservoirs before submitting a report to the government on the issue.

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