Prevail upon Authority to withdraw order: State to CMC

Prevail upon Authority to withdraw order: State to CMC

Prevail upon Authority to withdraw order: State to CMC

 The Karnataka government is learnt to have made a strong case before the visiting Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) chairperson D V Singh on Friday that if the present outflow of 9,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu was continued, then the State would face the threat of losing 40 per cent of the standing crops in the basin due to shortage of water.

It urged Singh, who is also the Union Water Resource secretary, to prevail upon the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by the Prime Minister to withdraw its September 19 order.

As an interim measure, the State should be allowed to reduce the quantum of water released to Tamil Nadu at least by half, with immediate effect.

Singh, who arrived on Thursday evening to assess the water requirement and crop situation in the Cauvery basin region, held a 90-minute discussion with Chief Secretary S V Ranganath and top officials of the Water Resources, Agriculture and Horticulture departments in Bangalore on Friday.

A senior officer of the Water Resources department in a power-point presentation explained to Singh that the water levels in the four reservoirs of the Cauvery basin had dropped from 79 tmcft to 63 tmcft following the continuous release of water to the lower riparian state.

Karnataka alone requires 30 tmcft for drinking purposes and 38 tmcft for standing crops in the basin.Besides, the State was facing one of the worst droughts in 40 years and the deficienct rainfall in the Cauvery basin was more than 43 per cent this season, the officer said.

Emerging from the meeting, Singh refused to offer any comments to the waiting members of the media. Meanwhile, a four-member Central team of experts arrived in Mysore on Friday to assess the ground reality in relation to the crop situation and water availability in the Cauvery basin.

Report on Monday

The team headed by Central Water Commission Director B P Pande landed at Hotel Lalitha Mahal Palace helipad in Mysore and drove straight to an agricultural field between Taripura and Mahadevapura bordering Mysore and Mandya districts. It will submit a report to the Cauvery River Authority on Monday.

The members of the team included Chief Engineer (Monitoring) Jacob of Bangalore, P K Saha, Deputy Commissioner, Union Ministry of Agriculture, and D Ranga Reddy, Director (Monitoring), Bangalore.

Saha sought to know from Vijay Kumar, the Executive Engineer of Krishnarajasagar reservoir, about the area of cultivation, the availability of water and the crops grown in the region. Kumar informed the officer that paddy and sugar cane were the chief crops.
“We follow the on-and-off system while releasing water into the canals. The only problem is that of labour,” he said.

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