CHENNAI: For the eighth consecutive year, the Mettur dam will not be opened on June 12, the day when water is traditionally released for Kuruvai crops. This is due to the low water levels in the dam. In this backdrop and much expectation from the farmers, the meeting of Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) will be taking place on May 28 at New Delhi, after a gap of six months. Ahead of the meeting of the authority, the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee would meet on May 23.
“Employment of consultants, flow measurement, how to have telemetry system and a few other issues, are on the agenda. Since the quantum of water to be released for every month has already been fixed by the SC, we will insist on that during the meeting,” official sources said. PWD Secretary SK Prabhakar, Cauvery Technical Cell Chairman R Subramanian and senior officials are likely to attend.
Since the Centre is yet to appoint an exclusive chairman for the CWMA, Masood Hussain, chairman of Central Water Commission, who is holding additional charge as chairman of the CWMA, would chair the meeting on May 28. This is the third meeting of the authority since the last one in December, 2018.
Official sources said water cannot be released on June 12 as the storage level is very meagre. Normally, Mettur dam can be opened only when the storage level ranges between 85 to 90 tmc.
Already, farmers associations have appealed to the government to spell out whether Kuruvai crop would be possible this year or not since they had skipped the said crop for the past eight years. Significantly, on Monday, Karnataka Public Works Minister HD Revanna, who visited temples in Kumbakonam, said that his State could release water to Tamil Nadu only if it received good rains during the southwest monsoon. He also said there was no water in Karnataka reservoirs.
As on date, water level stands at 48.29 ft against its full capacity of 120 ft. The storage level stood at 16.75 tmc against its full capacity of 93.47 tmc. The inflow to the dam has been reduced to 28 cusecs while the water discharged from the dam for drinking purposes continued as 1,000 cusecs.
The quantum of water (177.25 tmc) to be released by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu as per the revised order of the SC: June (9.19 tmc), July (31.24), August (45.95), September (36.76), October (20.22), November (13.78), December (7.35), January (2.76) and February to May (10).