Karnataka, Tamil Nadu have both recorded deficient rains

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will chair a crucial meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) here on Wednesday to clinch a consensus on pro rata distress sharing of the water by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as both have recorded deficient rains so far during the southwest monsoon.

Among others, the meeting will be attended by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar. Both will be accompanied by their Irrigation Ministers and senior officials.

Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy will also take part, while the Kerala Chief Minister will be represented by Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph.

On Tuesday, some State officials met Water Resources Secretary D.V. Singh, who chairs the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC).

The basin States could not agree on a distress-sharing formula at a CMC meeting last month. But earlier this month, Karnataka told the Supreme Court — which hears the dispute on the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award — that it would release 10,000 cusecs of waters to Tamil Nadu, which had sought 2 tmcft to save its kuruvai crop and begin sambha sowing.

In May, Ms. Jayalalithaa wrote to Dr. Singh, requesting that the CRA meeting be convened. Tamil Nadu also approached the Supreme Court that pulled up the PMO for the delay in convening the meeting.

As per the official data, the southwest monsoon was deficient on September 7 by an average of 11 per cent in Karnataka, 15 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 23 per cent in Kerala and 22 per cent in Puducherry. But the overall rainfall data is normally computed at the end of the season.

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