The Tamil Nadu Government has approached the Supreme Court seeking urgent directions to restrain Karnataka from taking up summer irrigation and consequent depletion of storages in the reservoirs in Karnataka in contravention of the final order passed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in February 2007.

In its application, Tamil Nadu said the Tribunal in its final award on February 5, 2007, had allocated Kerala 30 tmc ft, Karnataka 270 tmcft, Tamil Nadu 419 tmcft and Puduchery seven tmcft out of the total 740 tmcft available for allocation.

It said in the last few years after the final award was passed Karnataka had been increasing its summer cultivation and had been depleting its reservoirs by huge quantities during the summer months for irrigation almost emptying the storages. They deliberately deplete their reservoirs during summer months (January to May) and keep the storages at a very low level so that they could impound more water from June onwards and use them for irrigation, thereby depriving Tamil Nadu of its due share of water to be released from June onwards when the water year would commence.

The application said as on March 15, the storage in the four reservoirs had been depleted and only about 20 to 30 tmcft would remain by the end of May, as against the full storage of 114.5 tmcft.

Storage depleting

It said since Karnataka was depleting the storage from February to May for building up its storage from June to September, Tamil Nadu could not meet its irrigation requirement from June to September because of shortfall in inflow into Mettur reservoir.