No water for crops in Cauvery basin

Owing to poor inflow into the Cauvery river basin reservoirs, the State government on Wednesday indicated that it will not be releasing water to standing kharif crops in the basin areas.

The storage level in four major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin — Harangi, Kabini, Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) and Hemavati — is also low when compared to last year. The present (live) storage in four reservoirs was 43 tmcft on July 31, 2017, and it was at the same level on the corresponding day last year. The total inflow since June was 57.83 tmcft.

With availability of 43 tmcft and the kharif crops’ requirement of 96 tmcft of water, the government would not be in a position to release water to crops owing to poor rainfall and negligible inflow, Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil told presspersons here on Wednesday.

Last year too, the government stopped release of water to crops owing to severe shortage in water levels in four reservoirs owing to erratic monsoon.

Noting that drinking water requirements (3 tmcft per month) would get affected if water was released to standing crops, Mr. Patil said these crops needed 96.16 tmcft of water.

He said he would call on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in a day or two and request him to call a meeting of people’s representatives to decide on the release of water to tanks.

Water for Tamil Nadu

The State has released just 7 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu since June. As per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka has to release 10 tmcft in June and 34 tmcf in July. “As of now, 2017-18 appears to be a distress year and the stipulated release during June and July is not possible,” the Minister said.

Compensation sought

Karnataka Sugarcane Growers’ Association president Kurbur Shantakumar has strongly objected to the move of not releasing water to crops and asked the government to pay compensation to farmers in the basin areas. Farmers have planned a protest on August 9 to place their demands before the government, he said.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 1:12:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-water-for-crops-in-cauvery-basin/article19410286.ece

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