S.Vydhianathan

Requests intervention of Monitoring Committee of Cauvery River Authority

State received 134.96 tmcft till October 16

Prescribed quantum of supply is 157.46 tmcft

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has requested the Monitoring Committee of the Cauvery River Authority to direct Karnataka to discharge water from its reservoirs to make up the deficit in release prescribed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its interim order.

In a memorandum to the committee on October 16, the State pointed out that as against the prescribed quantum of 157.46 tmc (thousand million cubic) ft, the State had received 134.96 tmcft till this date, a deficit of 22.50 tmcft.

Combined storage

As the combined storage of four reservoirs in Karnataka is 97 tmcft as against the capacity of 114 tmcft, the committee was asked to intervene and ensure sufficient water to make up the deficit and to provide adequate water for the standing samba crop in Cauvery delta districts.

It is three years since the monitoring committee met. It is to supposed meet once in three months.

Public Works Department officials here said the storage at the Mettur reservoir had to be sufficiently built up. Only then would it be possible to suspend the release of water from the reservoir for three to four weeks in November and December, when the north-east monsoon would meet the irrigation needs of standing crop.

Though inflow into the reservoir was 15,000 cusecs now, it would not be sufficient to build up a good storage.

Unpredictable

Unlike south-west monsoon, the behaviour of north-east monsoon is unpredictable. Early indication was that it would be normal and there would be substantial rains in the current year, the officials said.

The inflow, which was 7,936 cusecs on October 1, increased to 13,294 cusecs on October 12 but fell to 9,821 on October 12 before improving subsequently. In the last four days it was 15,000 to 16,000 cusecs.

Good rain

As delta districts were experiencing good rain, release from the reservoir was substantially reduced from 20,000 cusecs in the first week of this month to 5,000. On Monday, it was 5,510 cusecs. The State had to judicially manage the release to make water available to farmers for completing the samba crop. The officials said farmers should not take water availability for granted.

Transplantation

They said transplantation was going on in parts of the delta districts. Crops that were being transplanted would not be able to withstand heavy rain.

S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, told The Hindu that there were sporadic rain in the delta districts. If rain is good and widespread, it would be possible to close the reservoir in the second week of November and release water again from December 15.

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