Kuruvai prospects bleak, says farmers' leader

A.V. Ragunathan

With the prospects of water release from the Mettur Dam looking bleak, the raising of kuruvai crop in the delta region has become a big question mark. If water is not made available at least by the month-end, the kuruvai crop is as good as lost, said K. Balakrishnan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangham.

Mr. Balakrishnan told The Hindu that in a representation, he had requested Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to broach the subject with the Centre during his visit to New Delhi.

The Tamil Nadu Government had ruled out water release until the storage level in the Mettur dam touched 55 ft. as against the present level of less than 32 ft. Obviously, the dams in Karnataka too had got poor storage. But, when the southwest monsoon got active, the dams there might get filled, and the Karnataka Government would, as usual, let out the excess water.

But the Karnataka Government had taken the stand that after the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal was announced, the interim reward had become nullified.

With the final award now referred to the Supreme Court, the Karnataka Government contended that it was not under any obligation to implement either the final or the interim awards.

Mr. Balakrishnan suggested that in such circumstances, the Tamil Nadu Government should insist upon the release of water on a pro rata basis; in other words, based on the inflow the Karnataka Government should release the share due to Tamil Nadu.

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