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Convene Cauvery River Authority early: Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent

Prevail upon Karnataka to release water, Manmohan Singh urged

CHENNAI: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh impressing on him the need to convene the next meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) early. She has requested him to intervene in the river water dispute and get Karnataka to release the deficit in the prescribed quantum that should be supplied to Tamil Nadu under the interim order of the tribunal.

In a demi-official letter of July15, a copy of which was released to the media here on Saturday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said kuruvai crop "cannot be undertaken for the fourth consecutive year as the State of Karnataka has not released water to Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu."

The Chief Minister noted: "I wish to bring to your immediate attention the need to ensure the release of Cauvery water by the Government of Karnataka to Mettur Dam of Tamil Nadu in terms of the Interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and also the need to convene the next meeting of the Cauvery River Authority early.

"Today, the situation is that in Tamil Nadu, agricultural operations for the traditional kuruvai crop cannot be undertaken for the fourth consecutive year as the State of Karnataka has not released water to Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu, as per the Interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and has not adhered at all to the monthly/weekly schedule of releases prescribed in the Interim order... I have already brought to your notice that the Interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal has all the force and effect of an order of the Supreme Court of India."

Ms. Jayalalithaa said: "Even though some surplus water is flowing from Kabini reservoir to Mettur Dam, as on 15.7.2005, at Mettur reservoir, we have received only 13.70 tmcft as against the prescribed quantity of 31.54 tmcft, leaving a shortfall of 17.84 tmcft of water. I would like to bring to your specific personal notice the fact that if only this quantity of 17.84 tmcft had been released by this time by Karnataka from its reservoirs, the farmers of the Delta areas in Tamil Nadu could have started their kuruvai crop. I am given to understand that Karnataka has a storage of 60.63 tmcft as on 15.7.2005 in its reservoirs. It is incumbent on Karnataka to release Tamil Nadu's balance due share of 17.84 tmcft immediately. Karnataka can easily make available this quantity from the storage in its reservoirs, which is comfortable. I request you to intervene and ensure this."

Deficit in release

Noting that the Cauvery Monitoring Committee was convened on June 23 at Tamil Nadu's request, Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was clearly pointed out that Karnataka should ensure the releases as per the schedule prescribed in the interim order. The Water Resources Secretary, who is also the Chairman of the committee, also informed the State Chief Secretary that he had written to the Karnataka Chief Minister on July 4, pointing out the deficit in the release and suggesting release of water by Karnataka to ensure compliance.

Ms. Jayalalithaa urged the Prime Minister to prevail upon the Karnataka Chief Minister to immediately release the balance water and ensure further releases as per the schedule.

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