Supreme Court on February 7 directed it to release 2.44 tmcft to Tamil Nadu

Contending that Tamil Nadu can meet water requirement for standing crop from Mettur reservoir, Karnataka on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking review of the February 7 order directing it to release 2.44 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka said till February 9 it had released 2,000 cusecs and on February 11 it gave instructions to increase it to 6,000 cusecs. Releasing beyond this quantity would deprive residents of Bangalore city of their drinking water.

In its review application, Karnataka said the Supreme Court on February 7 directed the State to release 2.44 tmcft of water and on the next day the government presented the budget for the Financial Year 2013-14 in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly where the members wished that the government should seek a review of the order. However, the government issued orders for release of water from Krishnarajasagar dam.

It said on February 9, the gates of Krishnarajasagar reservoir were raised increasing the release to 1585 cusecs with which the Kabini reservoir outflow of 500 cusecs made up to 2000 cusecs. After necessary flood warnings to the people on the banks of the river, the government issued further instructions on February 11 to increase the flow from the Krishnarajasagar reservoir to 6000 cusecs. The Karnataka Legislative Council (which is in session with the Legislative Assembly having been prorogued) had unanimously passed a resolution on February 11 directing the government to seek a review of the order dated February 7.

The application said Karnataka had estimated the drinking water requirement as 11.60 tmcft up to June 15 based on the total estimation of 23 tmcft made by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee from October 15, 2012 at the rate of 2.90 tmcft per month. However, if the onset of monsoon was delayed beyond June 15, the drinking water requirement in Karnataka had to be met from the waters of this year even for the period from June 15 to June 30, which would be about 1.45 tmcft (half of 2.9 tmcft per month).

It said the storage in Karnataka reservoirs as on January 31 was 14.27 tmcft. However, the expected inflow into Karnataka reservoirs during February to May was not more than 3.9 tmcft totalling to 18.17 tmcft. However, the total requirement in Karnataka up to end of June, if the rains were delayed would be 13.05 tmcft for drinking water (11.60 tmcft up to June 15 and 1.45 tmcft from June 16 to June 30). The environmental flows would be 5.20 tmcft and water for the standing crop of sugarcane would be 5.00 tmcft and 1 tmcft towards evaporation losses. The total requirement came to 24.25 tmcft. Therefore, the water balance study would show that the shortage would be 6.08 tmcft. If Karnataka were to fulfil the order of this court by fully releasing 2.44 tmcft, the shortage in Karnataka would increase to 8.52 tmcft (6.08 tmcft + 2.44 tmcft). The human life in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka, particularly Bangalore would be at risk.

The application pointed out that pursuant to the order dated February 4, Tamil Nadu had already released from Mettur reservoir 4195 cusecs on February 5 and 8956 cusecs on February 6, totalling 13,151 cusecs (1.14 tmcft). The remaining water requirement of Tamil Nadu for the said area, as on February 6 would have been 1.30 tmcft (2.44 tmcft – 1.14 tmcft). However, the live storage at Mettur reservoir as on February 6 was 8.463 tmcft. Therefore, the remaining water of 1.30 tmcft could have been or can be drawn from the Mettur reservoir, still leaving a stock of 7.163 tmcft (8.463 tmcft – 1.30 tmcft) in the reservoir. For the purpose of meeting the downstream irrigation needs as well as drinking water needs, Tamil Nadu can draw all water from the Mettur reservoir.”

  • Contends that TN can meet water requirement of standing samba crop from Mettur reservoir

  • Says further release will deprive residents of Bangalore city of drinking water