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State realised less water on 13 occasions in June-September

T. Ramakrishnan


CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu in the last 20 years realised excess Cauvery water in 13 years compared to the quantity prescribed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the 1991 interim order. But on 13 occasions the State received less water during the southwest monsoon (June-September) than what was due to it.

The Tribunal, in its order issued in June 1991, directed Karnataka to make available 205 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) to Tamil Nadu at Mettur in a year from June to May. Of the total prescribed quantity, 137 tmc ft is to be given during the period of June-September. Annually, six tmc ft of water should be released by Tamil Nadu to Puducherry for the Karaikal region.

Though the final order was given by the Tribunal in February 2007, it is yet to be notified in the gazette of the Central government in view of litigation pending in the Tribunal and the Supreme Court.

The interim order, according to the Tribunal, would remain operative till the final adjudication of the dispute referred to it.

A perusal of the data of the water realisation over the years shows that the last six years witnessed comparatively higher realisation than the immediate four preceding years.

Even though in 2008-2009 and 2010-2011, the total realisation was less than the prescribed quantity, the shortfall was only marginal. But, between 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, the deficit ranged from around 40 tmc ft to about 140 tmc ft.

The highest realisation was in 2005-2006 when the Mettur reservoir recorded around 399 tmc ft. The lowest was in 2003-2004 with the realisation of 65.16 tmc ft.

Officials of the State government say that even in years of excess realisation, it was the rainfall downstream of Krishanaraja Sagar in Karnataka which invariably ensured higher inflow to Mettur.

On Monday, the level of the Mettur dam stood at 112.7 ft (full level: 120 ft) and the storage was 82.3 tmc ft (capacity: 93.4 tmc ft).

The discharge was 10,700 cubic feet per second (cusecs) and the inflow about 1,845 cusecs.

This year, the government, for the first time since Independence, commenced the water release from Mettur ahead of the usual date of June 12.

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