State halts water release to TN

Cant afford any more releases, SC told
Last Updated : 08 October 2012, 20:39 IST
Last Updated : 08 October 2012, 20:39 IST

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Ten days after it began implementing the order of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to release 9000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu and asked by the Supreme Court to obey it, a defiant Karnataka on Monday evening stopped discharge of flows.

The State had been ordered to release water to its neighbour till October 15. The Karnataka action came shortly after its senior counsel F S Nariman told the Supreme Court that the state was “in no position” to release any more water and that it had exceeded the stipulated releases.

“We will not be able to release anything more. It is physically impossible to release,” he told the court. The State move also came hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who chairs the CRA, told Union ministers from Karnataka that he cannot convene its meeting now.

Speaking to reporters in Mysore, Vijay Kumar, executive engineer of Cauvery Neeravari Nigama, in-charge of the  KRS Dam, said release of Cauvery river waters from the reservoir was stopped at 7:30 pm on Monday following the government order. Since 7.30 pm on Monday, only 5,100 cusecs of water had been released from the dam — 1,100 cusecs for river-based canal and 4,000 cusecs for canals originating from the dam — for irrigation needs of farmlands in the Cauvery basin.

While the Visvesvaraya Canal and Varuna Canal originate from the dam, canals like Virija, Devaraja and Bangaradoddi originated from different points along the river. At 6:30 pm on Monday, the water level at the dam stood at 104.92 feet against the maximum level of 124.80 feet. The inflow of water to the dam was recorded at 5,258 cusecs while the outflow was 9,873.

It was an action-packed day in Delhi as Union ministers S M Krishna, Mallikarjun Kharge and K H Muniyappa and 16 BJP MPs from the state led by Ananth Kumar and M Venkaiah Naidu met the PM separately in New Delhi seeking a review of the CRA decision Late in the evening one more delegation from Karnataka led by former Karnataka Minister H K Patil, MPs Jayaprakash Hegde, former MP B L Shankar and others met the PM. Besides, Karnataka Ministers also met the Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to present their case.

As the Prime Minister categorically rejected Karnataka leaders’ demand to review the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) decision of release of water, on from September 20, Bansal told reporters: "All the groups sought a stay. The PM told them that it is not permissible as there is no mechanism under CRA to change its award...it is not the decision of the PM but of the CRA. The CRA will have to meet again for any such thing." Bansal, who was present with the PM during the meetings, said.

He quoted the Prime Minister as saying that the Centre will act keeping in mind the interests of both states and there is no political angle in it. While ordering to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu, the CRA has take into account of prevailing situation of both the states, the Prime Minister said.

He said the central study team returned to Delhi after wrapping up its visit to the two States and would submit its report to the Centre. The Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) comprising the Union Water Resources Secretary and Chief Secretaries of the four States will meet in New Delhi on October 11 to decide the release of water by Karnataka after October 15 after studying the central team report.

The CMC will discuss the issue in consultations with the states. If it fails, the issue may be referred back to Cauvery River Authority (CRA).  If the PM thinks, there is a need to convene the CRA meeting, he may convene the same, he said.

Tug of Water

* Karnataka ministers’ and MPs’ plea to PM: Reverse CRA     order as there is no water in Karnataka reservoirs
* Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: It is not permissible to reverse the order as there is no mechanism under the CRA to change its award. The CRA direction to Karnataka was announced keeping in mind the interests of both the states and there is no political angle in it
* Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal: Flow of water to Tamil Nadu will continue till October 15. The Cauvery Monitoring Committee will meet on Oct11
* Supreme Court order: The prime minister who heads the Cauvery River Authority can convene its meeting to decide the review of the apex court order
* Karnataka’s advocate F S Nariman to SC: We will not be able to release anything more. It is physically impossible

Published 08 October 2012, 15:57 IST

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