NEW DELHI: With the water row turning the political heat in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Centre on Monday asked both the states to cooperate on sharing Cauvery waters. While TN, the lower riparian state, has been complaining of receiving less water than prescribed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka maintains that it could not release more due to deficit rainfall and poor storage in its dams.
“Both the states were requested to co-operate and see how best they can handle the shortfall situation collectively,” officials said after a meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee.
The meeting was attended by Committee chairman and Union Water Resources Ministry secretary Shashi Shekhar, CWC chairman AB Pandya and chief secretaries of Karnataka and TN Kaushik Mukherjee and K Gnanadesikan, respectively.
“We are trying to improve data collection and management and analysis so that this kind of distress situation can be understood well and appropriate decisions can be taken,” sources added.
Tamil Nadu in its submission before the committee said as on Sept 24, as against 126 tmcft prescribed by the tribunal in its final order, only 78.451 tmcft was received at Billigundulu.
“There is, therefore, a shortfall of 47.549 tmcft. The Samba cultivation is in full swing in delta region and unless the deficit of 47.549 tmcft is made good immediately, survival of the crop and food security of TN will be at stake,” said a statement issued by TN government.
The state further demanded the committee to instruct Karnataka to ensure the delivery of 48 tmcft due to TN at Billigundulu for the months of October-January as prescribed in the final order of the tribunal.
Tamil Nadu also called for instituting a mechanism to monitor inflows into major dams along with the drawing of water by Karnataka and the extent of the area irrigated. The Committee, TN insisted, should ensure that Karnataka does not draw water for summer irrigation and the balance storage is carried over for use in the next irrigation season. Karnataka is learnt to have sought the use of distress formula for water sharing.