Tamil Nadu

Why Cauvery management board is good news for Tamil Nadu

Farmers prepare the field for taking up samba paddy at Ammanpettai in Thanjavur. File photo — R.M. Rajarathinam  

Tamil Nadu received less than its share of Cauvery water during the crucial four months — June to September — in 18 out of 27 years, since the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) gave its interim order in June 1991.

As the period accounts for around two-thirds of the State’s annual share, the shortfall in realisation during those four months, which coincide with Southwest Monsoon, generally paved the way for deficit in the overall receipt of the Cauvery water. This could be seen from the fact that the State’s annual realisation was less in 12 out of those 18 years.

Overwhelming support

This is why there is an overwhelming support among farmers and political parties for an implementation mechanism on the Tribunal’s final order, which now stands modified by the Supreme Court marginally with regard to allocations to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Invariably, Tamil Nadu did not get its share of water when its farmers wanted it most and Karnataka did not adhere to the schedule of monthly releases, as drawn up by the Tribunal.

On several occasions, the Mettur dam, the first storage point of the Cauvery water in Tamil Nadu, recorded copious inflows when the delta had heavy rainfall.

Farmers and water experts say a Cauvery management board will ensure timely release of water to the State.

On the significance of the Southwest Monsoon, agriculturists and experts explain that it is during this period the short term ‘kuruvai’ crop is raised and the early phase of the long term samba crop is taken up. For both, water is required substantially.

Besides, Karnataka receives most of its annual rainfall during the monsoon, whereas Tamil Nadu does not get much then and it has to wait till the advent of the Northeast Monsoon in mid-October.

P.R. Pandian, a leader of farmers, argues that only with the Southwest Monsoon rainfall, agriculturists can do farming operations intensely and the Northeast Monsoon is only of "complementary and supplementary value."

Supreme Court verdict

The Supreme Court on Friday reduced the allocation of Cauvery water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu. It directed Karnataka to release 177.25 tmc ft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from its inter-State Biligundlu dam.

The judgment clarified that Karnataka will now have an enhanced share of 14.75 tmc ft. water a year while Tamil Nadu will get 404.25 tmc ft., which will be 14.75 tmc ft. less than what was allotted by the Tribunal in 2007. Earlier, in accordance with the 2007 award of the Tribunal, Karnataka had a share of 270 tmc ft. This will now increase to 284.75 tmc ft.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 7:27:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/why-cauvery-management-board-is-good-news-for-tn/article22792528.ece

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