TN received 54% less Cauvery water from K’taka since June ’23

CHENNAI: As of June last year, Tamil Nadu has had less than 54 percent of its required Cauvery water from Karnataka. The current situation is also not promising as the Karnataka government has categorically rejected the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee’s (CWRC) recommendation to release the due share of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by May.

Following the final judgment of the Supreme Court, the Karnataka government has to release 174,497 thousand cubic feet (tmc) of water to TN between June 1, 2023 and April 28 this year. However, during that period, only 78,728 tons of water were released, depriving the lower riparian state of more than 95 tons of water. The Karnataka government neither respected the SC’s judgment nor the emergency formula based on the prevailing water crisis, an official said.

The cumulative net inflow received in the four designated reservoirs in Karnataka between June 1, 2023 and April 25, 2024 is 150,946 tmc. The cumulative flow realized in Biligundulu during the period stands at 78,696 tmc against the stipulated 174,333 tmc in a water year, an official said citing the minutes of the last meeting and noted that the deficit stands at 54.86 percent.

This indicates that the CWRC and the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) have made little or no effort to implement the SC’s judgment. The periodic consultation between the stakeholders has been reduced to a ritual. “We have stopped releasing water for irrigation purposes from Mettur reservoir to meet drinking water needs since October last year,” a senior official of the Water Resources Department said.

Adding to the misery, the state had received only 0.94 tmc of water, against 2.55 tmc in March and 0.438 tmc of water in April out of 2.55 tmc of water. “Unfortunately, we are being pushed against the wall to take legal action,” he added.

Claiming that Karnataka’s action amounts to contempt of court, TN authorities said they have decided to drag the neighboring state before the Apex Court for failing to comply with the February 2018 verdict.

Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan on Wednesday openly expressed his strong dissatisfaction with the Karnataka government. “Preparations have been made to seek the SC’s intervention,” said another official aware of the development.