TN requires only 2.44 tmc ft of water, say experts

Of the total crops grown in the delta, 50 per cent are harvested

Despite Tamil Nadu’s demand that it requires 9 tmc feet of water from Karnataka to irrigate its standing crops in the Cauvery delta, a team of experts of  the Central government said only 2.44 tmc ft is needed for the neighbouring state.

The team headed by S K Jacob, Chief Engineer of the Central Water Commission, submitted its report to the Supreme Court on Wednesday after assessing standing crops  in Tamil Nadu. The three-member team had visited the Cauvery delta region of Thiruvarur, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts in Tamil Nadu.

Of the total crops grown in the Cauvery delta, 50 per cent had been already harvested. Another 40 per cent is being harvested while 10 per cent is standing crops.  Only 2.44 tmc feet of water is required to irrigate the standing crops, the team said.  The apex court is likely to take up the matter for hearing on Thursday.

The Mettur reservoir has 9.5 tmc ft of water storage while in all the reservoirs in Karnataka (KRS, Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathi) has around 23.85 tmc ft in which 10.01 tmc ft is dead storage which cannot be used, the report said. Karnataka requires 15 tmc feet of water to meet its drinking water needs in the Cauvery basin areas till May-end.

This includes Bangalore’s requirement of 1.5 tmc ft . Mysore uses 1 tmc ft per day. The
expert committee report has vindicated Karnataka’s stand in the Supreme Court in which it had said Tamil Nadu has only 10 per cent of standing crops while rest are being either harvested or in the process of harvesting. As regards 10 per cent of the area, Karnataka stated that it is at the stage of “physiological maturity” and even in this area no water is required as the crop is at a maturity stage. Karnataka also submitted a satellite map and its own expert committee report highlighting the exact standing crops in neighbouring state to substantiate its arguments.

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