CHENNAI: As the dams in Karnataka are brimming owing to copious inflow, the neighbouring state is once again treating the downstream Cauvery as a drain to flush out surplus water to ward off any impending threat to the safety of its reservoirs.
As per official information, the inflow recorded at the inter-state gauging point Biligundlu near Hogenakkal was about 50,000 cusecs on Friday and is expected to swell further.Water experts and leaders of farmers associations in Tamil Nadu point out the sore fact that Karnataka is used to flushing out a huge quantity of water during surplus period and denying water when there is a deficit.
“Why should they release huge quantity of water during surplus period if they cannot adhere to monthly schedule as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal? This is precisely because the safety of their dams will be at stake,” says Dr S Janagarajan, an expert in water management.Echoing similar views, Mannargudi S Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Association, fumes, “Karnataka is always using downstream as drain but denies water when we desperately need.”
When there is a heavy inflow down the river, the Mettur dam cannot hold water beyond its capacity of 93.47 tmc and the smaller dams including grand anaicut, upper and lower anaicuts and a few barrages across the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu do not have much storage capacity resulting in water running off to the sea.
The combined storage capacity of reservoirs and barrages across the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu comes to about 95 tmc. And if water is discharged for irrigation in the delta region from the Mettur dam, the storage will considerably dip and the farmers and the public have to scurry for water again during dry season.
So, what the water managers here stress is a strict adherence to the monthly water schedule. Otherwise it will not be beneficial to Tamil Nadu which has been waging a long battle for its due share in the Cauvery waters.
Karnataka has to start discharging 9.19 tmc water in June, 31.24 tmc in July, 45.95 tmc in August, 36.76 tmc in September, 20.22 tmc in October, 13.78 tmc in November, 7.35 tmc in Dec and 2.76 tmc in January. February, March, April and May account for 2.5 tmc each