Tamil Nadu on Thursday filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court for a direction to Karnataka to release 52.8 tmcft of water till February 2013 to save crops raised in 15 lakh acres.
In its petition the State also wanted the court to properly define the `season’ to ensure that adequate water was released to protect the interests of farmers.
Explaining the outcome of the 30 meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee held on November 15, the State said “it was accepted in the meeting that Tamil nadu should receive a
Total of 100.85 tmcft of water as per the method of pro rata sharing during the months from June to October in terms of the Interim Award dated June 25, 1991 passed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. It had come to the conclusion that there is a deficit of 37.13 TMC ft. upto October. However, the CMC had not decided the issue of backlog quantity from June to September but merely ordered on the quantum of flows to be received by Tamil Nadu for the period from November 16 to 30 adopting the method of pro rata sharing.”
It said “the CMC failed to take a decision as to making good the shortfall during the south west monsoon period on the pretext that it is unable to take any decision as to how to define a `season’ and come to any finding in this regard. The said reasoning is wholly erroneous and defies the very object of framing of a scheme under Section 6A of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to implement the interim award dated June 25, 1991 in letter and spirit.”
Tamil Nadu contended that the Central Water Commission (CWC), the apex Technical Organisation of Government of India under Ministry of Water Resources, had clarified the term "season" referred to in the order of the Tribunal as early as in 2002. “The contention of Karnataka that monsoon season ends in December and that distress has to be calculated at that time, would be of no avail since the farmers are required to be ensured water during the period when the crop is grown i.e. during the cropping season viz., June to September for Kuruvai and August to January for Samba / Thaladi. There is no question of making good the shortfall after the end of North East Monsoon as averred by the State of Karnataka since the crops cannot be grown on expectation but only by ensuring timely releases from the Mettur Reservoir.”
Tamil Nadu said “the storage in the Mettur Reservoir is very critical and it will be barely sufficient to effect supply for irrigation for about 10 days. It is imperative for the State of Karnataka to make good the shortfall quantity of 52.8 tmcft that had accrued during South-West monsoon period as per the pro rata sharing, for sustaining the Samba crop in Tamil Nadu failing which the entire extent of crop raised in about 15 lakh acres would be under severe stress affecting the livelihood of about 15 million population in the areas served by Mettur reservoir, in addition to the further quantum of water due as per the Interim Order of the Tribunal till the irrigation season is over since the crop period may have to be extended upto February 2013.”