Cauvery Water Authority to Karnataka
New Delhi: The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), on Tuesday, directed Karnataka to release 9.19 TMCft of water to Tamil Nadu in June.
The Authority, which met on Tuesday for the first time after its establishment in New Delhi, passed the order after taking into account the monsoon forecast and the storage level in the Cauvery Basin reservoirs.
According to the order, Karnataka will have to ensure the release of the specified quantum of 9.19 TMCft at Biligundlu by the end of June.
However, the order is unlikely to have any negative impact on Karnataka if the monsoon arrives in the State as expected in the first or second week of June and the water storage in the State’s Cauvery Basin reservoirs is satisfactory.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Centre and the River Basin States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.
CWMA Chairman S. Masood Hussain said that with India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting a normal monsoon this year, Karnataka should ensure the June Quota of water to the lower riparian State of Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu, the inter-State water gauging centre.
According to the CWMA notification, which was vetted by the Supreme Court, Karnataka has to release a total of 162 TMCft of water to TN from June to May next year, including 10 TMCft in June, 34 in July, 50 in August, 40 in September, 22 in October 15 in November, 8 in December, 3 in January, 2.5 in February, 2.5 in March, 2.5 in April and 2.5 TMCft in May.
Sources in the Water Resource Department said that the four reservoirs in the Cauvery Basin currently have cumulative storage of 14.4 TMCft of water, with KRS at 6.9 TMCft, Hemavathy at 3.5 TMCft, Kabini at 2.9 TMCft and Harangi at 1.1 TMCft.
Reacting to the order, officials said that problems would arise only if the monsoon is delayed or the State receives less than normal rainfall in June.
The Authority, while issuing the order, allayed the fears of Karnataka stating that it would review its order based on inflows to the reservoirs in the Cauvery Basin.
Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar said that the Karnataka Government would have no objection to release the water as directed by the Authority provided the monsoon is good and there is sufficient water in the State’s reservoirs.
Asserting that the Government will protect the State’s interest and at the same time respect the Authority’s direction to release water, the Minister said that legal experts will be consulted before taking any action and added that the Government will convene an all party meeting, if required, to discuss the Cauvery issue.