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HomeFact CheckWater Crisis In Bengaluru: Did Karnataka Govt Release Cauvery Water To Tamil...

Water Crisis In Bengaluru: Did Karnataka Govt Release Cauvery Water To Tamil Nadu?

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Despite the acute water crisis in Bengaluru, the Congress government in Karnataka is releasing Cauvery water into Tamil Nadu.

Fact
The Cauvery river water has not been released to Tamil Nadu. It has been diverted to Shiva dam in Malavalli for supplying water to crisis-hit Bengaluru.

Apart from adversely affecting daily lives, the acute water crisis in Bengaluru has also triggered a political storm in the Congress-led Karnataka. Though Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar has asserted that under no circumstances would Cauvery River water be released to Tamil Nadu, the BJP has accused the Siddaramaiah government of diverting the river water to the neighbouring state despite the ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru.

Screengrab from X post by @BJP4Karnataka

In a tweet, dated March 9, 2024, Karnataka BJP Leader CT Ravi claimed that the state government is releasing Cauvery water from KRS Dam to Tamil Nadu. Adding, “This shocking move by the State government is happening when Bengaluru and other areas dependent upon Cauvery water are struggling due to water shortage.”

Screengrab from X post by @CTRavi_BJP

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Fact Check/Verification

We looked up relevant keywords in English and Kannada on Google, and found a report by ETV Bharat Kannada, dated March 11, 2024, detailing a statement by the Irrigation department refuting allegations of diversion of Cauvery water into Tamil Nadu.

The report stated that the Irrigation Department had clarified that no water from the KrishnaRajasagar (KRS) reservoir has been released to Tamil Nadu. Adding, “Shiva Dam in Malavalli taluk is being used for the purpose of supplying drinking water to Mysore division of the department and Bengaluru city. A total of 1,000 cusecs of water is required from Cauvery river to Bengaluru, Mysuru and other towns and villages for drinking purposes, and also for industrial supply on a daily basis.”

water crisis in Bengaluru
Screengrab from ETV Bharat website

A Times Of India report, dated March 11, 2024, stated, “Cauvery water has been released to quench the thirst of Bengalureans. The Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd (CNNL) stated that 4,780 cusecs of water from KRS dam and 2,000 cusecs of water from Kabini dam have been released to Cauvery river to fill Shiva dam at Malavalli taluk to stabilise water supply to Bengaluru city. Officials said the outflow from KRS dam to the river has been brought down as the water level has increased at Shiva dam.”

It added, “CNNL officials said that following a drop in the water level at Shiva dam, BWSSB officials had requested release of water to the river to increase the water level of the dam. Heeding the request, water was released on Saturday. On Sunday, the outflow to the river decreased to 2,769 cusecs, and later to 1,008 cusecs as the water level in the Shiva dam was increased enough to meet the water demand of Bengaluru, officials explained.”

Newschecker reached out to Yogesh, a reporter with Prajavani Mandya, who confirmed that the water from Cauvery has not been diverted to Tamil Nadu, instead has been stored in Shiva Dam. The same is being released to meet water demand in Bengaluru.

Pramod Madhav, journalist with the India Today in Tamil Nadu, also confirmed that Cauvery water has not been released to Tamil Nadu. He added that a minimal amount of water level is required, and the river cannot be drained completely to maintain the ecological balance.

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Officials at the Krishnarajasagar Modernisation and Medium Irrigation Project Circle, Mandya also said, “As published in the news media on March 9 and March 10, 2024, more than 4000 cusecs of water has not been released from the KRS reservoir to Tamil Nadu. Rather, it has been diverted to Shiva Dam in Malavalli and will be used to meet the drinking water requirements of the Bengaluru city.”

Release by Irrigation Deptt translated in English via Google lens

Furthermore, we also found a tweet by DP Satish of News18 Kannada stating, “…reality check at Shiva balancing reservoir near Malavalli confirms Karnataka government claims that Cauvery water is not being released from KRS dam to Tamil Nadu. To maintain the maximum level at the balancing dam, water is being released into it. The same water will be pumped 1000 feet above to Bengaluru. “

We also looked up the Cauvery Control Committee’s latest recommendations for release of water to Tamil Nadu. A Prajavani report, dated January 18, 2024, stated that the committee had recommended a release of 998 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu in February on daily basis. While a Kannada Prabha, report dated February 13, 2024, said that it has recommended to release 2.5 (total 5 TMC) water to Tamil Nadu in February and March.

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Conclusion

Hence, we could conclude that the allegations of Cauvery water being diverted to Tamil Nadu despite an acute water crisis in Bengaluru are false.

Result: False

Sources
Report by ETV Bharat Kannada, Dated March 11, 2024
Report By Times Of India, Dated March 11, 2024,
X Post By @dp_satish, Dated March 11, 2024
Conversation With Prajavani Mandya Journalist Yogesh
Conversation With India Today Journalist Pramod Madhav


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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