State has released more water to T.N. than prescribed

A meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee was held in New Delhi on Friday and as expected there was not much of a discussion given the fact that Karnataka has released much more water to the lower riparian State of Tamil Nadu than the quantum prescribed under the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Karnataka was represented at the meeting by Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee and Principal Secretary to the State government, Department of Water Resources, D. Sathyamurthy. Tamil Nadu was represented by Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan. Senior officials of the irrigation departments of Kerala and Puducherry also attended. The Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, Alok Rawat, chaired the meeting.

Sources in the Karnataka government told The Hindu that the meeting, unlike in the past when heated arguments was the order, was very cordial and was over in just about an hour.

Mr. Mukherjee conveyed that Karnataka had released 43 per cent more water than the prescribed level. While the State had to release 137 tmcft of water in the first five months (between June and October), it has so far released nearly 215 tmcft of water. During June to May, Karnataka has to release 192 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu.

At the meeting, it was said that officials of Puducherry complained that Tamil Nadu had not released water irrespective of having received a surplus quantum of water from Karnataka. The supervisory committee directed Tamil Nadu to make good the deficit.

The State Water Resources Department has said that the present water in the Krishnarajasagar reservoir was 120.3 ft, while the full reservoir level was 124.8 feet. The outflow was 3,644 cusecs and the inflow 971 cusecs. At the Kabini reservoir, the level as of Friday stood at 2,278.6 ft against the full level of 2,284 ft — inflow being 800 cusecs and the outflow at 2,500 cusecs.

The crest gates of the dam (KRS) were opened for the first time this year in July after a flood warning was issued to the people residing in the low-lying areas adjoining the main course of the Cauvery. This is the first time in about a decade that the KRS reservoir filled to the brim in the month of July, in just about seven weeks after the onset of the southwest monsoon, and has maintained nearly the same level for the last three months. At the last meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee held recently, Karnataka had assured Tamil Nadu that with the southwest monsoon being normal, it would comply with the stipulations of the CWDT. And Karnataka has now said that it has more than met the stipulated quantum of water to be released, while Tamil Nadu has said that Karnataka was only releasing its flood waters.

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