Karnataka can release Cauvery water to TN only if it rains: minister

Karnataka can release Cauvery water to TN only if it rains: minister

'Inflow into dams has dipped following deficient monsoon'

Karnataka can release Cauvery water to TN only if it rains: minister

Water Resources Minister M B Patil on Thursday said Karnataka will be able to release the Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu as per the final award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) only if it receives good rains in the catchment areas.

“Water can be released only if it rains in the catchment areas. Karnataka government is releasing water (to Tamil Nadu) based on the availability (in the reservoirs),” he told reporters on seeking his reaction to Tamil Nadu government filing a plea in the Supreme Court complaining that there is a shortfall in release of water by Karnataka.

As per the CWDT award, the state is supposed to release 134 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu between June and September every year. But, Karnataka has received only 11 tmcft of water till June end. Inflow into the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin is around 12,700 cusecs. The government is releasing about 4,000 cusecs every day to Tamil Nadu in order to prevent any setback to the state in its legal fight in the Supreme Court, Patil explained.

He said inflow of water to the reservoirs has decreased due to deficient monsoon. But it is binding on the state to release water to Tamil Nadu.

Hence, water is being released. The state will definitely release more water if it rains in coming days. “We have the responsibility to protect the interest of farmers in the basin region. Priority is given for supplying drinking water to Bengaluru and other towns. Water will be supplied for agriculture purposes if the reservoirs become full, the minister added.

Besides, Patil said the state government has already submitted its detailed project report on the proposed Mekedatu drinking water project to the Central Water Commission. Steps are being taken to seek clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest for the project. The work will be taken up once all approvals are obtained.

The Tamil Nadu government has raised objection to the project and it recently urged the Centre not to allow Karnataka to implement the project. 

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