BENGALURU/NEW DELHI:Both Houses of Karnataka legislature unanimously passed a resolution last week to restrict the use of available water in its Cauvery basin reservoirs only to meet drinking water needs of Bengaluru and other towns under the current distress situation.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government is likely to move the Supreme Court next week by filing a contempt plea against the Karnataka government for failing to release the said amount of water. Last week, Tamil Nadu approached the apex court against the order of the Supervisory Committee and filed its objections to its decision and demanded that Karnataka immediately release a minimum quantity of 57 TMC of water without further delay to enable Puducherry to receive their share of atleast seven TMC to save the standing crops. Karnataka too filed its objection over the committee’s order and said they have just 27.6 TMC water storage of which 26.33 TMC was required for the state’s drinking water purposes.
The resolution conveys Karnataka’s inability to implement the Supreme Court order of September 20 to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from September 21 to 27. In the meantime, innocent Tamils residing in Karnataka for several years were targeted by fanatic Kannadiga groups, besides setting vehicles on fire bearing Tamil Nadu registration number. The vehicular movement on the inter-state border at Housur came to a grinding halt. Videos and images of Tamils coming under attack evoked a similar response in Tamil Nadu, though in low intensity. The requirements of water for Samba cultivation in Tamil Nadu is pegged at about 125 TMC, at the rate of 1.25 TMC per day for a period of 100 days beginning from June 12.
The acreage is estimated to be about 12 lakh acres. But, the farmers in the Delta region could see water gushing out of the sluice gates of the Mettur dam, located down the Cauvery river in Salem district of Tamil Nadu on September 20. A quantum of 12,000 cusecs per day proposed to discharge from the Mettur dam would hardly meet the requirements, say the leaders of farmers.
Tamil Nadu’s Stand
● Government is likely to move the Supreme Court next week by filing a contempt plea against the Karnataka government for failing to release the specified amount of water
● It approached SC last week against the Supervisory Committee’s order and demanded that Karnataka release at least 57 TMC of water for TN and Puducherry
● The AIADMK says the neighbouring state is repeating the wrongdoing it had committed in 1991 when the Supreme Court gave a verdict on the interim award of the Cauvery water disputes tribunal
● Karnataka Legislature, both Assembly and Council, unanimously passed a resolution on September 23 to preserve water stored in reservoirs to provide drinking water and not to use for any other purposes. The government is bound by the resolution of the legislature and convey it to Supreme Court
● State government to submit the resolution to Supreme Court when the Tamil Nadu petition for release of water comes up before the apex court on September 27
● Explaining its inability to release water, the State Government seeks modification of the apex court’s September 20 order
Dams in TN & Karnataka
Cauvery is the lifeline of TN, as it is the only major river in the state unlike Karnataka which has three other perennial rivers—Krishna, Tungabhadra and Godavari
Capacity of Mettur, the biggest dam in Tamil Nadu, is 93 TMC. Capacity of all 11 major dams put together is 190 TMC
Capacity of all the top 11 dams in Tamil Nadu put together is 704 TMC