Stakeholders from Mysore and Chamarajanagar regions met members of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) and the Central team here on Saturday and apprised them of the grim scenario in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka owing to deficient rains.
Led by A.H. Vishwanath, Mysore MP, and R. Dhruvanarayan, Chamarajanagar MP, they sought withdrawal of the Cauvery River Authority’s directive to release water at the rate of 9,000 cusecs till October 15.
Mr. Vishwanath pointed out that the water-level in the Kabini dam was nearing the dead storage, and a similar situated awaited the Krishnaraja Sagar, Harangi and Hemavati dams if the discharge continued.
Mr. Vishwanath said between September 12 and October 5, Karnataka released nearly 19 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu from Kabini dam and KRS, and any further release would escalate the already tense situation in the region.
The memorandum pointed out that Karnataka’s requirement was 140 tmcft for irrigation and 30 tmcft for drinking in Bangalore, Mysore and Mandya districts. But the storage on October 5 at the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin was only 65 tmcft, and the expected inflow may not be more than 40 tmcft if the average of a 38-year period — from 1974 to 2012 — is taken into account, the memorandum said.
The elected representatives said Tamil Nadu did not have any standing crops as in Karnataka and the northeast monsoon was expected in that State in the coming days.
Mr. Vishwanath and Mr. Dhruvanarayan said Tamil Nadu’s water requirement for the Samba crop would be 123 tmcft. The present storage at Mettur was 42 tmcft, the expected release at Biligundlu was pegged at 38 tmcft and the contribution of the northeast monsoon would yield about 40 tmcft, all of which would help meet Tamil Nadu’s requirements, they added.
Vivek Cariappa, organic farmer, spoke to CMC members for more than 30 minutes and provided a comprehensive picture of the crisis in the State.
He cautioned that the discharge from the reservoirs would escalate the man-animal conflict in the region in the coming months as the backwater of the Kabini would dry up forcing the animals from Nagarahole and Bandipur reserve to enter human habitations.
He also impressed upon the CMC members the need to encourage a change in the cropping pattern in Tamil Nadu during years of drought, and said paddy, being a water-intensive crop, should be discouraged during such periods. The Central team was also told of the need to take up sustainable agricultural practices and the imperatives of water harvesting.