CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday brought to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Karnataka had been unjustly utilising the water for summer irrigation from February to May by depleting the storage in its four major reservoirs.
The combined gross storage in the four major reservoirs of Karnataka stood at 58.5 tmcft on February 1, 2012 had come down to 28.176 tmcft on May 14. Thus, the Karnataka government had depleted a storage of about 30.33 tmcft from February 1 to May 14, besides utilising the flows of about 11 tmcft. Thus, the total utilisation between February 1 and May 14 was about 41 tmcft.
“Due to depletion of storage during summer months, the Karnataka government impounds all the initial monsoon flows in its reservoirs and releases water only when they start surplusing, thus affecting the inflows into the Mettur dam, which consequently affects the Kuruvai crop and delays the cultivation of the Samba crop,” Jayalalithaa observed.
The CM recalled that since the finalisation of the Distress Sharing Formula, evolved by the Central Water Commission, has been eluding a solution which had ultimately deprived Tamil Nadu of adequate water which should have been released by Karnataka either as per the Interim Order of the Tribunal or by the formula evolved.
The Cauvery Monitoring Committee in its 24th meeting had decided to refer the formula to the CRA for consideration when noticeable distress condition occurs in future, said the CM.
The Interim Order of the Tribunal specifies that Karnataka should not increase its area under irrigation beyond 11.20 lakh acres.