Cauvery water management body asks K’taka to release 9.19 TMC water for TN

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) on Tuesday directed the Karnataka government to provide 9.19 Thousand Million Cubic (TMC) water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry from June 1 onwards.

This was CWMA’s third meeting since its formation in June last year and was held at New Delhi. During the meeting, the Tamil Nadu state government representatives highlighted the necessity of releasing 9.19 TMC of water to the lower riparian states from Karnataka.

SK Prabhakar, chief engineer, public works department, Tamil Nadu’s state representative for CWMA cited the upcoming Kuruvai cultivation period and the depleting water resources in the state.

After hearing Tamil Nadu’s contention, CWMA chairman Masood Hussain ordered Karnataka to release 9.19 TMC water.

“The Cauvery Water Management Authority has decided to release 9.19 thousand million cubics of water by Karnataka from the Biligundulu site for June this year to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry UT,” the Chairman said in his order.

Reacting to the CWMA order, P R Pandian, Organiser, Tamil Nadu All Farmers Organising Committee welcomed it and urged the monitoring committee to enforce the same.

“We Tamil Nadu farmers welcome the order of the CWMA. Karnataka should adhere to the order. The Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee should monitor and enact the order as only then we can cultivate Kuruvai in a successful way,” Pandian told HT.

Due to the poor monsoon and non-arrival of Cauvery water on time, the sluice gates of the Mettur Dam which are supposed to be opened on June 12 every year for the Kuruvai cultivation have not been opened since 2011. With the CWMA’s direction, the farmers of Tamil Nadu are looking at initiating Kuruvai cultivation.

It might be recalled that the Central Government notified the Cauvery Water Management Scheme in June last year, inter alia, constituting the ‘Cauvery Water Management Authority’ and the ‘Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’ to give effect to the decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court vide its order dated February 16, 2018.

Since Tamil Nadu is facing severe water groundwater depletion issue, the union government has issued a drought warning advisory for the southern state last week.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters about the order, Karnataka water resources minister DK Shivakumar said the state would respect the order. “We have no problems with the authority’s order. We are expecting good inflow this year because of good rain. We were a little worried earlier but that has changed. If there is no water then we must follow the distress formula,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Vikram Gopal in Bengaluru)

First Published:
May 28, 2019 20:09 IST

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