Cauvery dispute: Karnataka's receding reservoir levels a cause for concern as SC directs state to release water to Tamil Nadu

Since SC's order on Cauvery dispute, poor water level & inflow into the Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir, built across the river, has been a cause for concern.

FP Staff May 03, 2018 13:38:43 IST
Cauvery dispute: Karnataka's receding reservoir levels a cause for concern as SC directs state to release water to Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court pulled up the Karnataka government on Thursday in the Cauvery river water sharing dispute and told it to give four tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water to Tamil Nadu, according to media reports.

The apex court said Karnataka must release water in April-May and warned the state government of "consequences" if it did not comply with the order, CNN-News18 reported.

Cauvery dispute Karnatakas receding reservoir levels a cause for concern as SC directs state to release water to Tamil Nadu

Representational image. AFP

Since the top court's order from 16 February — where it had raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin — the receding water levels in Karnataka's major reservoirs and the poor inflow into the Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) dam, built across the Cauvery in the district, have been a cause for concern.

The water level in the reservoir was recorded at 72.07 feet against the full reservoir level of 124.80 feet on Wednesday.

According to a report in The Hindu, the flow into the reservoir was hovering at the rate of 1,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) till November owing to rains in the catchments areas. However, the trend in declination of inflow rate started from the second week of December. Currently, the inflow is 344 cusecs against an outflow of 935 cusecs.

According to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) data, the live storage capacity as on 2 May was 3.52 tmcft. The maximum live storage is 45.051 tmcft.

Here is a detailed report on the major reservoir levels in Karnataka as on 2 May:

Cauvery dispute Karnatakas receding reservoir levels a cause for concern as SC directs state to release water to Tamil Nadu

Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) data on reservoir levels in state.

On Thursday, Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted to the Supreme Court that the Cauvery Management Board draft has to be tabled before the Union Cabinet and that the draft isn't approved yet because the prime minister is in Karnataka currently, campaigning for the upcoming Assembly election in the state, ANI reported.

The apex court then directed the Centre to file an affidavit in the matter and scheduled the next hearing for 8 May, ANI reported.

In April, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to formulate and file the draft Cauvery management scheme by 3 May, and directed the authorities of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other stakeholders to ensure peace in the meantime.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it had considered the award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) while deciding the water share of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry in its judgment.

The bench, also comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, said that its judgment has to be complied with all the stakeholders.

The court said the authorities are required to ensure peace till it peruses the draft scheme and finalises it for proper distribution of Cauvery water.

The apex court, in its verdict, had asked the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgment on the decades-old Cauvery dispute. It had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.

With the apex court's verdict, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry would annually be entitled to 404.25 tmcft, 284.75 tmcft, 30 tmcft and 7 tmcft of Cauvery water respectively out of the total of 740 tmcft.

With inputs from PTI

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