State urges SC to reject TN plea for release of 45 tmc ft water

State urges SC to reject TN plea for release of 45 tmc ft water

Karnataka has urged the Supreme Court to reject Tamil Nadu’s plea for release of over 45 tmc ft of Cauvery water, as it maintained that despite passing through distress current water year, it had ensured the storage at Mettur reservoir was 44.185 tmc feet.

In a response to the Tamil Nadu’s plea, the State submitted that it had followed the procedure set out in the apex court’s order of 2013. Tamil Nadu sought directions to Karnataka to release 45.327 tmc ft of Cauvery water from its reservoirs to save 15 lakh acres of cultivated fields and four million people dependent on it.

Terming the plea by Tamil Nadu “totally unwarranted and premature”, the State submitted that in the water year of 2015-16, the inflows into the Cauvery basin had been drastically less due to the failure of the south-west monsoon in Karnataka and Kerala.

“The inflows into the four reservoirs in Karnataka, which has been the yardstick for assessing the distress situation by an ad hoc method, have been less in the months of June to October,” it said, adding despite the distress situation, it had ensured 107.719 tmc up to the end of October at the interstate border Biligundlu.

In fact, Karnataka has given about 25 to 30 tmc more water to Tamil Nadu, it claimed.
The storage at Mettur reservoir has already risen to 44.185 tmc ft as on November 13. Besides, the applicant has the alternative resource of groundwater of 20 tmc, as assessed by the Cauvery Tribunal, which made Tamil Nadu’s position very comfortable, it said.

The expected inflows into Mettur reservoir would be 43.349 tmc in the remaining period of 92 days from January 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016, and thus the total water resources at Mettur would be 69.896 tmc, Karnataka maintained.

It also pointed out that the fifth meeting of the Supervisory Committee had already held that “there is a situation of distress and it requires a proper assessment and quantification in consultation with the basin states”.