Says storage position in Mettur dam is precarious

Describing the situation in the districts irrigated by the Cauvery as calamitous, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday reiterated her earlier demand made to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to notify the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal without any further loss of time.

It was only on Thursday that she had written a letter urging him to expedite the notification of final order passed in 2007.

Writing again to the Prime Minister on Saturday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said: “The storage position in Mettur reservoir has reached a precarious position and a calamitous situation prevails in the Cauvery-fed districts of the State. As on December 21, the storage in Mettur reservoir is just 8.8 tmc ft. The situation has become grim, affecting the livelihood and the survival of millions of farmers and agricultural labourers of the State.”

“This year we have been made to run from pillar to post to get our due share of water from Karnataka but, in spite of all our efforts, Karnataka continues to utilise all the waters of the river Cauvery brazenly, as if it owns the river Cauvery, with scant regard to the plight of the lower riparian State”, she alleged.

Ms. Jayalalithaa reiterated her earlier demand that “the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal should be notified without any further loss of time and the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee put in place so that the Final Order of February 2007, which could not be implemented till date, can be brought into force and the releases to Tamil Nadu by Karnataka can be ensured so that the withering crops can be saved at least to some extent during this distress year.”

She brought to his attention that the Supreme Court on December 5 asked the Additional Solicitor General to seek instructions as to when the final order would be notified. In the 31st Meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee held on December 7, it was recorded that the tribunal’s final order would be notified at the earliest but not later than the end of this month. She hoped the Prime Minister would consider the plight of farmers and farm labourers in Tamil Nadu and instruct the Water Resources Ministry to notify the final order immediately.

Meanwhile, Union Shipping Minister and former president of TNCC G.K. Vasan said the Centre would soon notify the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal to put an end to the dispute between the two states. Talking to reporters here, Mr. Vasan said that certain formalities were being looked into by the departments concerned ahead of issuing the notification. "It will be published at the earliest," he said.

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