“Neighbouring State took stand against supervisory panel”

Announcing a host of measures to help Cauvery delta farmers pursue kuruvai cultivation, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday said the Tamil Nadu government has also decided to move the Supreme Court for a contempt of court case against Karnataka for its stand on the Cauvery Supervisory Committee.

In a statement, Ms.Jayalalithaa referred to the position of the neighbouring State taken at a meeting of the panel on Wednesday that the Supervisory Committee had not been constituted properly and it was not empowered to take any decision. “By this, it becomes very clear that Karnataka does not want to give water to Tamil Nadu. As it (Karnataka) now contends that the temporary Supervisory Committee, formed on its request, is not empowered to take decisions, this amounts to contempt of court,” Ms Jayalalithaa said, after chairing a meeting with Ministers and senior officials on the issue.

The Chief Minister added that a petition would also be filed in the Supreme Court, seeking expeditious establishment of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.

She recalled that when a petition of the Tamil Nadu government on the constitution of the CMB came up for hearing in May, Karnataka suggested to the court that a temporary supervisory committee be formed. This was accepted by the court.

The delta farmers in the State would be provided three-phase power supply for 12 hours daily this year too. This would begin on Saturday and the supply would be maintained till September. Towards facilitating the drawal of water to farmlands from the source, 6,000 HDPE pipes, each 180 metre long and 90 mm diameter, would be given free of cost to farmers.

This would entail an expenditure of Rs.12 crore to the exchequer.

The State government would also supply micro-nutrients, organic fertilisers and pesticides, a decision involving an expenditure of Rs.6 crore.

As a result of the decisions of the State government, the kuruvai coverage was expected to be on about one lakh acres, she said.

The meeting took note of various aspects starting with the water level of 17.65 feet in Mettur Dam as against the capacity of 120 feet. Water available in the dam was 3.45 thousand million cubic feet. The rainfall in 2013 was 156 mm as against the average of 180 mm.

Release of water from the dam, which is usually on June 12, is crucial for kuruvai cultivation that commences in May-June in the delta region. The three districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam account for 85 per cent of the cultivation.

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