MYSURU: The Cauvery issue threatens to boil over again with the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordering Karnataka to continue release of 2000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu and the state government stating that it cannot. The SC order has caused concern in a drought year in the state, with reservoir levels fast dipping and farmers threatening another agitation over the issue which was in lull for over two months. The state government has expressed inability to release water. Water Resources Minister M B Patil said on Wednesday, "The reservoirs have no water and the state will not be in a position to release further water."
The Kabini and Krishnarajasagar reservoirs are left with just 13 tmc ft of water to meet the drinking water needs of Bengaluru, Mysuru and other towns till April-end. The water is also required for wildlife, particularly of over 5,000 elephants in Nagarhole, Bandipur and Wayanad regions.
The Kabini reservoir level is currently 2260.30 ft as against 2265.8 ft ( max 2284 ft) last year. Outflow is 500 cusecs while inflow is only 15 cusecs. The KRS level is 79.44 ft as against 105.79 ft ( max 124.8 ft) compared to previous year.
Patil added that Karnataka has filed a petition pleading for modification of the order and that it has stopped the release of water to farmers for the standing crops in order to meet drinking water needs. The Supreme Court on Wednesday also fixed day-to-day hearing on the appeals filed by states against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing of water from February 7.
Farmer organisations have already opposed the court order, saying despite their demand no water is being released for standing crops and that they have lost rabi crops.
G Made Gowda, president of the Cauvery Raitha Hitharakshana Samithi and former MP, said no water should be released from the reservoirs. "We will launch an agitation against the government if they fall in line and release water. We will not hesitate to guard crest gates and take over reservoirs as drinking water should be priority of any government in summer," he added.
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd Managing Director Shivashankar said water is available to meet drinking water needs only till April end.
Dams run dry
Max 2284 ft
Current 2260 ft
Last yr 2265 .8 ft
Max 124.8 ft
Level 79.44 ft
Last yr 105.79 ft