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Jayalalithaa asks PM to direct Karnataka to release water

PTI 23 Aug 2012, 16:24:39 PM IST
Chennai, Aug 23: Pressing her demand for convening the Cauvery River Authority meeting, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to direct Karnataka to release water to the state to raise long term crop in the Cauvery delta areas.

Referring to her earlier letter dated May 18, she told the Prime Minister in a fresh communication today that her previous request for urgent need for convening a meeting of the CRA to decide certain specific issues was “yet to be acceded to.”

She also referred to the Interlocutory Application filed by the state government before Supreme Court in July seeking a direction to the Union of India to convene a meeting of the CRA with the apex court seeking Central government's views in this matter.

Jayalalithaa said without prejudice to the pending proceedings in the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister as the Chairperson may convene a meeting of the CRA and the Distress Sharing Formula can be adopted as a situation of distress has arisen now.

She also complained that while Karnataka had not released any water from its reservoirs during the irrigation year of 2012-2013, it had opened the reservoir for its own irrigation.

The Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu could not be opened till date due to the reluctance of the Government of Karnataka even to share minimum flows, she said.

The farmers in the Cauvery Delta, having lost the Kuruvai crop, are hoping at least to raise one single Samba crop for their livelihood, she said asserting it was ‘imperative' that Karnataka was advised to release water to make good the shortfall quantity as per the Distress Sharing Formula and also to share the flows in this distress situation.

Jayalalithaa said as per Rules and Regulations for conduct of the business of the CRA, the quorum for the meeting shall be three members in addition to the Chairperson and the decision shall ordinarily be by consensus and that, in case no consensus was reached, the decision may be left to the Chairperson.

“You may recall that the Honourable Supreme Court in its order dated 6.2.2003 in an I.A. filed by the State of Tamil Nadu, inter-alia, had directed that in the absence of unanimity or consensus, the decision of the Prime Minister who is the Chairperson of the CRA shall be decisive.

According to the Interim Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, as on August 23, 2012, the dam catering to the needs of Cauvery delta districts should have realised 95.48 TMC ft of water but only a meagre quantity of 9.187 TMC ft. has been realised, she said.

Further, according to the Distress Sharing Formula evolved by the Central Water Commission, Mettur Dam should have realised about 43.837 TMC ft. as on the aforesaid date.

“May I, therefore, once again request you to kindly convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority forthwith?  I, further, request that pending convening the meeting of the Cauvery River Authority, the Government of Karnataka may be advised to release water for raising the Samba crop in the Cauvery Basin of Tamil Nadu,” she said.