NEW DELHI/BENGALURU:The Centre on Monday asked the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments to cooperate with each other on the sharing of Cauvery water after the latter cried foul that the neighbouring state had failed to release water as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
But Karnataka stuck to its stand that it cannot release more water due to deficit rainfall and because there was less than 50 per cent storage in all reservoirs in the Cauvery basin.
The Cauvery Supervisory Committee met on Monday to discuss the matter. The meeting was attended by committee chairman and Union Water Resources Ministry secretary Shashi Shekhar, Central Water Commission chairman AB Pandya and chief secretaries of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Kaushik Mukherjee and K Gnanadesikan, respectively. Mukherjee presented statistics of the water levels in KRS, Harangi, Hemavathi and Kabini reservoirs, and stressed that the state was not in a position to release any additional water to Tamil Nadu.
Earlier this month, Karnataka had expressed its inability to release more water, saying it was facing the worst drought in over four decades. “We are trying to improve data collection and data management and analysis so that this kind of distress situation can be understood well and appropriate decisions can be taken,” a source said. The Centre’s advice came in the wake of Tamil Nadu asking the committee to order Karnataka that it make good an alleged shortfall of 47.549 tmcft water as on September 24.
Tamil Nadu also demanded that the committee ensure delivery of 48 tmcft of water due to the state at Billigundulu for the months of October-January as prescribed in the final order of the tribunal. It further charged that Karnataka overdrew 37 tmcft water above the 103 tmcft it was entitled to in 2014-15.