New Delhi / Chennai: The Tamilnadu government, in the fourth meet of Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) in New Delhi today, asked that Karnataka be ordered to release 31.2 tmc ft of river water that is due for July.
Tamilnadu has also stated that it is irreconcilable that the Karnataka government is moving to build Mekedatu dam across the Cauvery, against the Supreme Court’s order.
The meeting, headed by CWMA chairman Masood Husain, saw representatives from Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry coming together for the fourth time to discuss issues related to sharing Cauvery water.
With Karnataka not releasing 9.1 tmc ft of water for June, the State has not been able to provide water for irrigation of kuruvai crops that are usually sown 1 June.
Tamilnadu is also said it is not able to open the gates of Mettur dam as per schedule this year due to lack of water.
The State had in the last meeting asked the committee to order the release of the water, but to no avail.
In today’s meet, representatives from Tamilnadu asked the committee to order Karnataka to release a total of 31.2 tmc ft water that is due for July, while opposing Karnataka’s appeal to discuss issues surrounding construction of Mekedatu dam.
During the last meeting in June, the CWMA asked Karnataka to release 9.19 tmc ft of water.
During the May meeting, the Tamilnadu government had said, “To protect the environment, 2.5 tmc ft of water should have been released from the Cauvery from February till May. However, the due share has not been received and the Karnataka government should be ordered to release the deficit of 2 tmc ft water within May.”
But, Karnataka claims that it is in the grip of severe drought. Its combined storage of the dams – Krishnaraja Sagar, Kabini, Hemavathy and Harangi – stood at approximately 23.3 tmc ft, against their capacity of 114.57 tmc ft, last week, and the dams are said to be receiving insignificant inflows.
The water dispute has seen decades of negotiations between the parties in the two States.
The Government of India constituted the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in 1990 to look into the matter. After hearing arguments of all the stakeholders, the tribunal delivered its final verdict 5 February 2007. It allocated 419 tmc ft of water annually to Tamilnadu, 270 tmc ft to Karnataka; 30 tmc ft to Kerala and 7 tmc ft to Puducherry.
Karnataka and Tamilnadu being the major stakeholders, Karnataka was ordered to release 192 tmc ft of water to Tamilnadu in a normal year from June to May. With two monsoons failing in most parts of Tamilnadu, there is an urgent need for Cauvery water in the State.
On Monday, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him not to grant permission to Karnataka to construct a dam across Mekedatu.
(With agency inputs)