Karnataka Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and top officials of various departments on Friday held a meeting with Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) Chairman D.V. Singh and other Central officials. The State made a presentation on the extent of damage that would be caused to standing crops in the Cauvery basin districts if the State continued to release water at the rate of 9,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The meeting, which lasted for nearly 90 minutes, strongly urged the CMC to recommend to the CRA to reduce the quantum of water to be released by the State to Tamil Nadu, officials in the Water Resources Department told The Hindu.

The CRA has directed the State to release water at the rate of 9,000 cusecs daily to Tamil Nadu till October 15.

Officials of Water Resources and Agriculture departments informed the Central team that the State required a huge amount to water to save standing crops on 11.94 lakh acres in the Cauvery basin districts of Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Hassan and Tumkur.

Moreover, about 23 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) would be required to meet the drinking water requirement of Bangalore city and other urban centres in the basin.

Officials who attended the meeting said nearly 40 per cent of the standing crops would be damaged if the State continued to release water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the CRA. The inflow into the four major reservoirs — Krishnaraja Sagar, Kabini, Harangi and Hemavati — in the Cauvery basin was poor because of the erratic monsoon.

Officials told the team that Tamil Nadu farmers had just commenced preparation of land for sowing of samba crop and it would receive rain during the northeast monsoon.

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