Shettar urges PM to reject CMC order

State officials term award totally arbitrary

Shettar urges PM to reject CMC order

Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reject the Cauvery Monitoring Committee’s (CMC) directive to release 12 tmc feet of water for Tamil Nadu.

“Recommendations of the CMC should be rejected by you at the earliest to save the standing crops in Karnataka,” Shettar stated in his letter to the prime minister. He also suggested that the order may be kept in abeyance, adding that it was “unfair and highly disadvantageous to Karnataka.”

Shettar pointed out that at a meeting on October 11, the CMC had drawn a road map for release of water to Tamil Nadu at the Biligundlu gauging station.

“In the road map for December, the quantity of water to be released to Tamil Nadu was reduced by 41 per cent, from 10.37 tmc feet to 6.12 tmc feet. As a result, around 2,285 cusecs will have to be released per day,” he said.

The CMC on Friday ordered release of 12 tmc feet of water to Tamil Nadu in December, which is twice of 6.12 tmc feet, Shettar said.

In the CMC meeting on Friday, Karnataka had argued that it could not release water to Tamil Nadu since the State received 40 per cent deficit rainfall in 2012.

Meanwhile, the CMC’s latest directive, mandating release of 12 tmc feet of water to Tamil Nadu in December, is being viewed as a setback to Karnataka. According to the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s (CWDT) interim award, Tamil Nadu is entitled to 10.37 tmcft of water from Karnataka in December, in case of normal rains.

However, Tamil Nadu will get only 6.2 tmc feet of water in December in case Karnataka receives inadequate rain, i.e. distress year.

The CMC sprang a surprise by directing Karnataka to release 12 tmc feet of water, despite the state repeatedly intimating the Centre about a distress situation.

The CMC, headed by Union Water Resources Secretary D V Singh, said: “The availability of water in Karnataka was 36 tmc feet, while shortfall was 34.8 tmc feet during the entire season. In Tamil Nadu, the availability of water was just 29.5 tmc feet while the shortfall was 59.5 tmc feet.”

Criticising the CMC, officials in Karnataka said its order was “totally arbitrary” and not in accordance with the tribunal’s interim order.

The CMC award will be challenged before the Supreme Court as well as the Cauvery River Authority headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the officials said.

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