The Federation of Farmers’ Associations of Cauvery Delta Districts has appealed to the Central government to implement the “distress sharing formula arrived at by the Central Water Commission (CWC)” with regard to Cauvery waters.
In a memorandum to D.V.Singh, Union Water Resource Secretary and chairman of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC), general secretary of the federation Arupathy P.Kalyanam said “as there was a distress sharing formula there was no need to assess the water needs of the Cauvery Basin in Tamil Nadu.”
Besides, he urged the CMC to monitor the storage position in Cauvery reservoirs and irrigation tanks connected with the canals in Karnataka as “the State has released water in canals and is storing it in tanks.”
Considering the annual flows in the Cauvery from 1934-1970, Tamil Nadu was getting 378 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft). It was reduced to 205 tmcft by the Cauvery River Waters Dispute Tribunal in 1991 and then to 192 tmcft in its final order in 2007.
“Karnataka is not ready to accept even this,” he lamented.
Cauvery is the lifeline of two crore people of Tamil Nadu and is the drinking water source of five crore people of the State. Cauvery is the main source of water in Tamil Nadu and the State has no other surplus catchment to substitute it.
But Karnataka is wasting 2,000 tmcft of water that could be augmented from its west-flowing rivers. In Krishna River it has another major source of about 969 tmcft of water.
He pointed out that Tamil Nadu lost a number of catchment areas due to the re-organisation of States in 1956. Now, both Kerala and Karnataka, who got those catchments, have a surplus of more than 2,500 tmcft.
“Such surpluses are national assets and government of India should ensure that they are shared with neighbouring States such as Tamil Nadu.”
He demanded that all the Cauvery reservoirs in Karnataka be brought under the control of Army to ensure that Tamil Nadu gets its rightful share.
The Cauvery River Authority should be vested with more powers to control violating States. There is provision for this in the Inter-State Water Dispute Act 1956, he opined .
The crucial period for kuruvai and samba crops is June to September. Even the cultivation of samba should be completed positively by October first week to escape the fury of northeast monsoon. As per the order of the tribunal, Karnataka should release 137 tmcft between June and September.
Since 1992, it has not complied with that order 14 times. Even in the other seven years, it did release so much only because of the surpluses in its reservoirs.”
It has been treating Tamil Nadu only as drainage,” he pointed out.
Because of the adamant attitude of Karantaka, the delta economy had been ruined and the yields had dwindled to 50 to 70 per cent, he lamented.
“For the immediate irrigation needs of the total 16 lakh acres for single crop, we need a minimum supply of two tmcft (23,150 cusecs) for 40 days to complete the transplantation and to wet the direct sown paddy fields,” he pleaded.