The Union government has sought the comments of Cauvery basin States on the inability of Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu as directed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the meeting of the Cauvery River Authority on September 19.

Secretary, Union Water Resources, D.V. Singh, who is also the chairman of the official-level CMC, on Tuesday wrote to the States concerned seeking their “views and comments” in the matter. Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court on the issue. With this, the dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over sharing Cauvery waters during distress — as this year — seems to have gone back to square one. On September 20, Karnataka wrote to the Prime Minister expressing inability to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu citing distress situation in the State on account of deficient southwest monsoon. It sought a review of the CRA order.

According to Water Resources Ministry sources, Karnataka said that it could not release more then 4,000 cusecs of water till October 15 as against the Prime Minister’s direction to release 9,000 cusecs of water at Biligundlu on a daily basis from September 20 till October 15. The State had been releasing 10,000 cusecs daily from September 12 on the directions of the Supreme Court.

Tamil Nadu has sought 2 tmcft (about 25,000 cusecs) water on daily basis till October 15 to enable sowing of Samba crop. The State received deficient rain during the southwest monsoon.

The CRA order had directed the CMC to review the implementation of its decision and advised the official-level panel to decide on appropriate releases after October 15 in consultation with State governments.

The CRA was set up to oversee the implementation of the interim award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. The final award, delivered in 2007, is yet to be notified.