SC orders immediate release of Cauvery water to save Tamil Nadu’s standing crops

Tuesday 05 February 2013

State claims it has lost a third of its standing crops and that remaining crops on 600,000 ha need to be irrigated at once

The Supreme Court has directed Karnataka to release 2 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) water from the Cauvery river to lower riparian state Tamil Nadu and asked the Central Water Commission to file report on the water requirement of the two states fighting over river water sharing.

A bench headed by justice R M Lodha asked the Commission to form a three-member expert body that will visit the states. It also directed the agency to file a respond within two days and posted the matter for Thursday. "Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu is permitted 2 tmc (one cubic foot equals 0.0283 cubic metre) water from storage to save standing crops. Irrespective of the report of the expert committee, Karnataka shall compensate Tamil Nadu by releasing 2 tmc water," the bench said.

The court was hearing Tamil Nadu's plea demanding compensation for crop damage and immediate release of 12 tmc water. Tamil Nadu claims that failure by its neighbour state to release water has resulted in damage to its standing crops.

Appearing for Tamil Nadu, senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan sought 9 tmc of water for the state's standing crops, spread over 600,000 hectares (ha). He said that a third of the standing crops spread over 300,000 ha had had perished due to drought and the remaining crops on 600,000 ha need to be irrigated at once to save it.

Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, contended that 40 per cent of standing crops had been harvested and the rest was about to be harvested. Thus, Tamil Nadu needs no water for irrigation.

Vaidyanathan responded by alleging that the data submitted by Karnataka was false. At this juncture, Justice Lodha said: "You (Tamil Nadu) may get more. Why you want in piecemeal?"

Last month, the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) had said that since current storage level in Karnataka was sufficient only to meet the state's drinking water requirements and that it was not in a position to release water to Tamil Nadu.
The Cauvery river originates in Karnataka and meanders its way over almost 800 km in Tamil Nadu. Being the upper riparian state, Karnataka can control how much water is released downstream to Tamil Nadu. Earlier, on December 5, the Supreme Court had directed Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily to its neighbouring state and asked CMC to hold a meeting to decide the amount of water required by each state.

The court is hearing petitions by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka rooted in the September 19, 2012 interim order of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), directing Karnataka to give 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily till October 15.
The order of CRA, headed by the prime minister, was to come into force on September 20. The apex court on September 28 rapped Karnataka for not complying with the direction of CRA.

After calling for the expert committee, the court hauled up the Central government for not publishing in the official gazette the Cauvery River Water Disputes Award, finalised February 5, 2007. The court directed the Centre to publish it at the earliest and not later than February 20.


Move from news to views and get in-depth reports on issues that matter to you, every fortnight.
Subscribe now »

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.


    By prof.T.Shivaji Rao,Director,Gitam University,Visakhapatnam.
    It is a shame for Indian dtates like Tamilnadu and karnatakato fight for TWo T.M.C. in Cauvery basinby wasting 2000 TMC annaully into Bay of Bengal.Are Indians really intelligent? are the patriotic in failing to resolve the problem by using common sense?
    Since Indian experts do not have social concern,they opt to be silent spectators at the avoidable sufferings of millions of farmers who produce food for these lazy and unpatriotic persons.Even if the government officials or News paper barons have social concern,cauvery problem can be solved very easily.For instance,Godavari river wastefully discharges about 3000 to 4000 TMC of floods and asurplus water into sea annually.If one-fourth of this surplus water is diverted intowater deficit basins of rivers like Krishna,Pennar,and Cauvery by linking up Indravati with wainaganga and krishna and cauvery rivers the nation will avoid water scarcity for farmers and drinking water shortage for metropolitan cities likeChennai and Bangalore.Out of the annual average flow of 3600 TMC discharged by Godavari river,about 1200,1100,500,TMC will be discharged yearlyby pranhita,indravati,and sabari tributaries respectively into Godavari river.Most of the upland areas in the river catchment are in high mountAINS COVERE BY THICK FORESTS AND HENCE most of the water gets unused and wasted as the officials and engineers of the concerned states refuse to think on how to use this precious water for public benefit.For instance540 TMC of indravati water can be put into Wainaganga and a Dam at Garchiroli can bve used to transfer about 566 TMC into Andhra pradesh and 85 TMC can be used to irrigate a million acres of dry land in Telengana.500 TMC can be put into Srisailam reservoir and it can be passed through Right Bank Canal to Gandikota Dam on Pennar River.A barrage can be made at Proddutur and 400TMC can be diverted to Tamilnadu100TMC can be used for irrigation in Tamilnadu and the remaining 200TMC can be fed into upper anicuts on Cauvery.100 to 150 TMC can be given to Karnataka With a request to karnataka to release 50 to 60 TMC to irrigate upper reaches of Anantapur and cuddapah regions of Rayalaseema..Necessary modifications in allocation of this surplus water as per needs of the states.
    At the middle level of Godavari river,two major Dams ,each of 500 TMC capacity can be condtructed ,one at Mahadevpur of Warangal District,another at Eturunagaram and the water canbe transferred in a like manner into krishna river at srisailam and the water can be passed on to Tamilnadu for furthur utilisation to enable all the southern states to produce more food for the growing population rather than get involved in petty political quarrels on sharing of wters in water-scarcity rivers like pennar,krishna and Cauvery .The common people of all the southern states must study thedse problems and agitate against academicians,legislators and members of parliament who get very fat salaries and are not grateful to the public who pay them fro their earnings.For more details use google search engine and use tha words"urgent use of Godavari flood waters for farmers benefit" or "T.Shivajirao on Godavari waters utilisation"
    Dr.subramaniamswamy of Tanjore once upon a time worked on this issue but seems to have given it up to the detriment of public interest.people must ask to revise his campaign on this criticl issue now.
    prof.T.Shivaji Rao,
    Director,centre for environmental studies,Gitam university,
    Visakhapatnam.Andhra pradesh.UIndia. phone:0891-2504902 and cell:9949319038

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
Scroll To Top