Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka,Ministers and Officials of the Government of Karnataka,
We are meeting here as per the suggestion of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which has opined that the Chief Ministers of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka should have a meaningful dialogue in the interests of the farmers of both the States.
During the 7th meeting of the Cauvery River Authority held on 19th September, 2012, I pointed out to the Prime Minister that Tamil Nadu should have received a quantity of 137 TMC ft. at Mettur Reservoir during the crucial months of June to September, as per the Interim Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal dated 25th June, 1991. I had also brought out the facts that, during this distress year, Tamil Nadu was deprived of its due share of 48.50 TMC ft. up to 15th September, 2012, as per the Distress Sharing Formula of the Central Water Commission.
I, therefore, urged the Prime Minister to order release of water every day at the rate of 2 TMC ft. for 24 days, so as to enable the farmers of Tamil Nadu to cultivate at least one single Samba Crop on an extent of 14.93 lakh acres, as the Delta farmers had already lost the Kuruvai crop. I requested that Karnataka should be advised to release water as per the binding Interim Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal dated
25th June, 1991.
I wish to bring to your notice that the present storage in Mettur reservoir is very alarming and the prospect for bringing the Samba crop to maturity is very bleak. The North-East Monsoon has failed the farmers of Tamil Nadu. The effective storage available in Mettur reservoir as on 27th November, 2012, is 6.34 TMC ft. only, after accounting for dead storage and domestic water supply requirements.
I have come here with the hope that this meeting will justify the faith placed by the Supreme Court in both the States, to find an amicable solution to the present water crisis, and will help alleviate the misery of the farmers of Tamil Nadu.
In the current year, as you are aware, Mettur Reservoir was opened for irrigation only on 17th September, 2012, as against the normal opening in June every year, and water is required to be provided till the middle of February, 2013. The present storage is wholly inadequate and in the absence of releases from Karnataka, a large section of the farming community will be put to immense suffering. Having already lost the Kuruvai crop, the farmers will not be able to save even the single Samba crop if the water shortage continues.
During this year, the deficit in inflows in the Cauvery basin is as much as 40%, as assessed by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC).
As per the Interim Order and subsequent Orders and the Final Order passed by the Tribunal, the distress should have been shared proportionately by all the party States and consequently, as per the directions of the Tribunal, at least 60% of the water should have been released by Karnataka and received at the Mettur reservoir.
As per the Interim Order of the Tribunal, Tamil Nadu should have received about 167.16 TMC ft. during the period from June to October, against which we have received only about 47.31 TMC ft., the shortfall being about 119.85 TMC ft. However, adopting the pro-rata sharing of distress, as envisaged by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee, in its meeting held on 15th November, 2012, we should have received about 100.85 TMC ft., and there is a shortfall to the extent of about 53.4 TMC ft. at the Mettur reservoir.
As on 27th November, 2012, Tamil Nadu has an effective storage of only 6.34 TMC ft. at Mettur reservoir. As the State is facing an unsatisfactory, inadequate North-East Monsoon, the situation is further aggravated and Tamil Nadu needs at least an additional 65 days of irrigation supply to support the present standing Samba crops on about 14.93 lakh acres. The standing Samba crops in Tamil Nadu are facing a grave situation of total failure.
I would like to draw attention to the statement of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, in the Memorandum dated 19th September, 2012, presented to the Prime Minister in the meeting of the CRA on 19.9.2012, in which it has been stated as follows:
“The pattern of flows in the Cauvery basin indicates that the deficits that occur till the end of September are always made good between October and December. In the last 5 water years, the deficits that occurred before September were cleared with surpluses…”
I, therefore, expect that the deficit of 53.4 TMC ft. will be made good by Karnataka in any case before December, 2012. As an interim measure, I request you to order an immediate release of 30 TMC ft. in the next 15 days.
I request the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka to consider the plight of the farmers of the State of Tamil Nadu and justify the faith reposed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and order the immediate release of 30 TMC ft. in the next 15 days, and to further release 23.4 TMC ft before the end of December, 2012.