MYSURU: In a bid to woo farmers ahead of the Assembly polls, the state government which had turned down Tamil Nadu’s plea for 15tmcft of Cauvery water has decided to give water for irrigation in Cauvery achukat falling under KRS dam.
With the elections around the corner, the government headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah did not want to take any chance and will give water 15 days a month for summer crops, official sources said.
The government, which was aware that Tamil Nadu had received good North East monsoon, has also given 117 tmcft of water against the total 192 tmcft demanded.
The government has defended the water release and decided to stick to its decision as the Irrigation Consultative Committee meeting has already decided to give four watering to enable farmers to grow paddy in Cauvery achukat.
Farmers who were denied water for crops for more than two years due to drought had appealed to the government to give water for summer crops and to save standing crops.
The water level at KRS was 102ft on Monday as against the maximum of 124.8ft. The dam has a total of 24 tmcft of water, including dead storage of 4.4 tmc ft. Officials have earmarked 16 tmcft for irrigation and 3.6 tmcft for drinking in Mysuru, Mandya and Bengaluru city.
Though KRS achukat has 1.96 lakh acres, the water released in on and off system by the Irrigation Department will not be able to cover all areas in the achukat, including tail-end areas in Malavalli, Maddur and parts of Mandya taluk.
SC verdict on Cauvery out in a month
The state government, elected representatives and farmers are worried about the final Supreme Court verdict on the Cauvery water dispute which will be out in a month. The elected representatives fear that if the verdict goes against the state, it will have an adverse impact on the Assembly polls and will lead to law and order issues.
Though the court cannot further increase the quantum of water to be discharged to Tamil Nadu, any direction to constitute reservoir management board will be a setback to Karnataka. Irrigation authorities said they will abide by the consultative panel meeting decision to give water to crops in Cauvery and Kabini achukats.