January 30, 2018
A delegation of Tamil Nadu, comprising chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami and other ministers hailing from the Cauvery delta region have sought time from Karnataka chief minister S Siddaramaiah to plead with him to release Cauvery water to save the samba crops in Tamil Nadu.
A cabinet meeting held yesterday in Chennai decided to seek time from Karnataka CM and government for a dialogue to request it to release river water to save standing paddy crops.
A government state admitted that water inflows to Mettur dam had gone down and sufficient water could not be released for irrigation in TN’s Cauvery belt. The cabinet meeting was attended by deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam as well.
“In the meeting, it was decided that the Tamil Nadu chief minister and ministers from delta districts will meet the Karnataka chief minister in Bengaluru and insist on releasing water from Cauvery to save the samba crops,” a government statement said.
“In this connection, a written communication as well as a telephonic request has been made with the chief secretary of Karnataka and the principal secretary to the chief minister (Siddaramiah) seeking his appointment,” with Palaniswami-led Tamil Nadu delegation, it said.
A move to meet the Karnataka chief minister comes after a letter to Siddaramaiah by EPS on saving samba crops in TN by releasing Cauvery waters as per the 2007 final award by the tribunal.
Palaniswami had written to Siddaramaiah on January 13, saying Tamil Nadu had received only 111.647 tmcft of Cauvery water as on January 9 at Biligundulu as against the due of 179.871 tmcft, leaving a deficit of 68.224 tmcft.
As per the 2007 order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Tamil Nadu has to receive 192 tmcft (1,000 million cubic feet) of water every year as its share from the inter- state river.
Palaniswami said the storage in the Mettur reservoir in Salem district, which caters to the Cauvery delta region, as on January 12, was a “meagre” 21.27 tmcft even as utilisable storage there was 16.27 tmcft.
This was “grossly inadequate” to meet irrigation needs of standing crops and drinking water needs in summer, the chief minister said.
EPS argued that even after looking after minimum drinking water and perennial crops in Karnataka, that state can release at least 15 tmcft to TN.
He requested Siddaramaiah to release 7 tmcft of water immediately and the balance within a fortnight from the existing storage, to save the standing crops in Tamil Nadu.