If Karnataka continues to refuse to release water to Tamil Nadu till December, the quantity of water it would have released will amount to just 30% of what it is mandated to release for the period June to December. But as per the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal, Karnataka is mandated to release a total of 179 tmc water in a normal monsoon year.
But with 2016 being a water deficit year, the Karnataka government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it will not release any water to Tamil Nadu till the year end. The stateâ€™s reservoirs had enough water only to meet the drinking water requirement of three districts.
Water Resource Minister MB Patil told The News Minute that the government has released 52.4 tmc of water from June to September 26. With the Cauvery Tribunalâ€™s final order mandating that Karnataka release 134 tmc between June and September, the state has only released 39.1% of the water so far.
Tamil Nadu, however, argues that water needs to be released to save the samba crop cultivated from September to January.
DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan told The News Minute, â€śAfter making a careful study and studying the water levels in Karnataka the Supreme Court has said 6000 cusecs should be released. Karnataka will put TN's farmers in trouble. They have already lost two crop seasons, and now they will lose the last crop season if they don't release water.â€ť
The former MP explains that the Tribunalâ€™s orders are clear even in deficit years, saying the water needs to be shared. â€śKarnataka is not the owner of Cauvery. Just because river starts in Karnataka does not mean river belongs to the state.â€ť He goes on to state that itâ€™s not just the farmers who are affected when water is not released. â€śAgricultural produce will also go down. It will have an impact on the overall economy, he adds, pointing out that the Delta region is the largest producer of rice.
The apex court on September 5 asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water every day for ten days. Modifying the order on September 12, the court asked the state to release 12,000 cusecs everyday till September 20.
Following this order many places across Karnataka, especially Bengaluru experienced a riot-like situation with Tamil-owned property and vehicles targeted.
In the last hearing on September 20, the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of water till September 27 and also ordered the formation of Cauvery Management Board within four weeks.
In its plea on Monday, Karnataka sought modification of the apex courtâ€™s order asking it release 6000 cusecs of water. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu objected asking the Supreme Court to not hear Karnatakaâ€™s plea until it released water, as ordered. It will come up before the court on Tuesday.