Highlighting the "grim" situation in Cauvery basin, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Saturday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stop further release of water to Tamil Nadu and to seek a report from the team that has been deputed to assess the water situation.
"I would kindly urge upon you to explore possibilities of stopping further release of water from dams in Karnataka and also call for an interim report of the team of experts", Krishna, now on an official visit to the United States, said in a letter to Singh, a copy of which was released in Bangalore.
Krishna, who hails from Cauvery basin district of Mandya, the epicentre of the stir, said the situation was grim in Cauvery irrigation areas and also in Bangalore following depleted water level in dams after release of water, as per the September 19 directive of the Cauvery River Authority, headed by Singh, and upheld by the Supreme Court recently.
"I sincerely feel that the situation needs your immediate attention, if it is to be prevented from worsening, as there is already a strong feeling among people of Karnataka that they may have to face severe shortage of water in the months to come", Krishna said.
"The entire state is waiting with bated breath to get immediate relief as otherwise it will spell disaster for the population in the Cauvery basin", he said.
Krishna also pointed out that the monsoon was over in Karnataka while the north-east monsoon would commence in Tamil Nadu and has the prospect of adequate rains.
Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa have been criticising four Union ministers representing Karnataka, particularly Krishna, for their "failure" to convince the prime minister about the water-situation.
The Karnataka government began releasing 9000 cusecs after the Supreme Court asked it to abide by the CRA directive, till October 15.
Image: Union minister S M Krishna