Thursday, Jun 30, 2005
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CHENNAI: The Cauvery Monitoring Committee should meet weekly in the next two months to monitor the inflows into the Karnataka Reservoirs, farmers associations in the Cauvery delta districts said. It should suggest an equitable sharing of inflows on pro rata basis in keeping with the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's interim order of 2.5-lakh million cubic feet.
The associations said that the meetings should be held here or in Bangalore and not in Delhi.
Expressing concern at the "not-too-satisfactory" storage in the Karnataka reservoirs, delta farmers said that sharing the inflows between the States was the only solution.
According to reports here, except the Kabini Reservoir in Karnataka, the storage in other reservoirs is poor due to the erratic south-west Monsoon.
Normally, delta farmers would be busy by now with kuruvai cultivation. But this has not been possible in the last four years due to the poor storage in the Mettur Reservoir. Even the main samba crop could not be cultivated in the normal area as Karnataka refused to release water as per the Cauvery Water Tribunal's interim order, the farmers complained.
Last year, ryots raised the samba crop after two years thanks to a heavy inflow in the Kabini Reservoir in the first and second weeks of August.
Farmers said that agitations or bandhs would not bring the desired result when Karnataka did not have enough water. Karnataka did not release water even when the storage was more than it needed.
Even if the Centre directed Karnataka to release water as per the interim order, it would express its inability citing the storage position.
"This is the harsh reality and we have to accept it." So the Tamil Nadu Government should demand the sharing of inflows till the storage position in the Karnataka Reservoirs improved. Farmers from Tamil Nadu will hold discussions with their counterparts in Karnataka in Mysore on July 12. This would be the seventh meeting held alternatively in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, said the general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Association, S. Ranganathan. Irrigation engineers, agricultural experts, and non-governmental organisations would guide the farmers in arriving at an amicable solution, he added.
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