TN wants 34 tmcft in July, 50 tmcft for August to save Samba crop

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on Monday clashed during the third meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee here over latter’s share of the river waters.

Tamil Nadu sought a direction from the panel to Karnataka for making the stipulated release of Cauvery waters in July. But, Karnataka said it had already released about 34 thousand million cubic (tmc) feet of water between June and July 13.

Further release would be made if the rainfall was good, Karnataka is reported to have said.

The panel, chaired by Water Resources Secretary Alok Rawat also demurred at giving any assurance and noted that Tamil Nadu’s receipt of the stipulated waters till July 31 at Biligundlu would depend on the behaviour of the monsoon in the next fortnight.

Tamil Nadu pointed out that in view of the recent heavy rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area of Karnataka and inflows into Karnataka reservoirs, the Delta farmers were anticipating release of water by Karnataka as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award for the cultivation of the Samba crop.

Unless the Committee ensures the release of 34 tmcft of water due to Tamil Nadu in July and 50 tmcft for August, as stipulated in the CWDT order, the samba cultivation will be put to severe stress, the State said.

The panel noted that, so far on account of good monsoon rain, Tamil Nadu had received about 34 tmcft water as against 44 tmcft during June and July (till July 13) including its share of 10 tmc ft water in June. By July 31, it should receive another 10 tmcft as the forecast was that monsoon would be good.

The meeting was attended among others by Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan and her Karnataka counterpart S.V. Ranganath, Central Water Commission Chairman Rajesh Kumar and senior officials from Kerala and Puducherry.

The next meeting will be held in August to review the Tamil Nadu water receipts till July 31.