Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday instructed officials to release water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu owing to the bountiful rainfall the state has seen in the recent days.
This is, however, nothing new. Karnataka has been releasing the excess water from its reservoirs to neighbouring Tamil Nadu as the recent spate of rainfall has led to full dams - all this within three weeks of the onset of the southwest monsoon.
The Supreme Court-mandated Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), which was recently formed, had ordered Karnataka to release 31.24 tmcft Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu in July.
The coastal and central parts of the state received extremely heavy rainfall throughout Monday, measuring up to 28 cm in certain parts. Heavy rains flooded several low-lying areas of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts, which received heavy to very heavy rainfall leading to overflowing rivers and lakes.
Teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in the coastal districts of the southern state and have been rescuing people stranded due to waterlogged in the coastal region.
As of Tuesday morning, the Kabini reservoir in Mysuru district, one of the major tributaries of Cauvery River, has been filled to its maximum capacity of 2,284 feet (696 metres) due to the heavy rains.
At the same time, the Krishna Raja Sagara reservoir built across the Cauvery in Mandya district has received water up to 110 feet of its total capacity of 124 ft.
Other reservoirs of Hemavathi (across Hemavathi river in Hassan district), Tungabhadra (across Tungabhadra river in Ballari district) and Harangi (across Harangi river in Kodagu district) have also reached their maximum limits with heavy rains in the catchment areas.
Water from some of the dams, filled to their maximum limit, is being released, flooding the areas along the course in the south interior districts.
Both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been locked in a bitter battle over the sharing of Cauvery water since the days of the British Raj and the matter was finally settled by the Supreme Court in February.