‘Karnataka cannot release 134 tmcft of water between June and September’

The Karnataka government on Thursday decided to ask the Cauvery Supervisory Committee (CSC) to review the share of Cauvery water to be released to Tamil Nadu between June and September.

Making a statement in the Legislative Assembly, after holding a meeting of leaders of Opposition parties, Ministers for Water Resources, Law and Parliamentary Affairs and members of Cauvery Legal Cell, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that it would be difficult for Karnataka to release the stipulated quantum of water to Tamil Nadu in view of drop in storage.

The State will appeal to CSC to re-examine the share of Cauvery water to be released to Tamil Nadu, he added. The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2008 stipulates that inter-State water sharing formula could be reviewed once in five years, and accordingly, the allocation of Cauvery water should be reviewed now on the completion of five years.

He said that the State was not in a position to release 134 tmcft of Cauvery water between June and September, which was allocated in 2008, because of meagre storage in its reservoirs. Instead, the State would urge for reduction of the share to 97.82 tmcft due to the distress situation.

The real picture

Citing the rainfall data from 2008 to 2013, he said the government would present the real picture of water storage and prove that 134 tmcft of water had not been stored in the Cauvery basin reservoirs in the past five years.

The State would respond to seven-point agenda of Cauvery Supervisory Committee, including framing the rules of Business of Supervisory Committee on Cauvery, identification of data observation location in Cauvery Basin for the purpose of monitoring of implementation of clause, devising the format of reporting the data for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the award, determination of normal year and distress year, guidelines for the Supervisory Committee for implementation for the order of CWDT, drinking water to be made integral part of water demand and installation of automatic data observation mechanism in all reservoirs, he detailed.

The meeting chaired by Mr. Siddaramaiah strongly objected to the framing of guidelines by CSC for implementation for the final award of the CWDT. The committee is scheduled to meet again on June 12 in New Delhi.