S. Vydhianathan

It received 235.93 tmcft, against 205 tmcft prescribed by Tribunal

  • Last year, dam received 399.22 tmcft
  • Storage insufficient to open dam on June 12
  • CHENNAI: The water year 2006-07, which ended on Thursday, was satisfactory for Tamil Nadu as far as realisation of Cauvery water in the Mettur reservoir is concerned.

    Between June 2006 and May 2007, the State received 235.93 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft), against 205 tmcft prescribed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its interim order in 1991, an excess of 30.93 tmcft.

    In the previous irrigation year (2005-06), the State received a record 399.22 tmcft, the highest in the last 15 years.

    Throughout the year, the storage and inflow in the reservoir was sufficient to meet the irrigation needs of both kuruvai and samba crops in the delta districts. In fact, the State achieved a record harvest in both the crops, thanks to sufficient storage in the reservoir.

    The inflow from June 1 to September 30 was 165.99 tmcft, against the prescribed quantum of 137 tmcft. It was the highest in August when the realisation was 72.30 tmcft, against the prescribed quantity of 54.72 tmcft for that month. It received more than the quantum in July, August and November of 2006 and in April and May of this year. Though the reservoir realised less than the prescribed quantum in the remaining seven months, the deficit was meagre. On Friday morning, the storage in the reservoir was 36.5 tmcft (74.26 ft), against the capacity of 93.4 tmcft (120 ft). During this time last year, the storage was 86.08 tmcft.

    The current storage is hardly sufficient to open the reservoir on June 12. The possibility of the reservoir getting substantial inflow before June 12 is extremely doubtful as the combined storage of four reservoirs in Karnataka, main source of supply to Cauvery, was 19 tmcft, against the total capacity of 114 tmcft. Besides, there was no substantial rainfall in the catchments areas.

    Officials said all the four riparian states of Cauvery (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry) had filed clarification petitions in the Tribunal against its final order under section 5(3) of the Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956.

    The tribunal could take one year to decide on the petition and if more time was required, the Centre could be approached for an extension.

    After passing all the stages, the Tribunal would give its clarifications and send the same to the Union Government. Only then would the Centre notify the final award in the gazette.