Monitoring panel awards 12 TMC ft in December

The Cauvery Monitoring Committee today asked Karnataka to provide Tamil Nadu with 12 TMC feet of Cauvery water during December even as protests continued in the Cauvery heartlands of Karnataka.

The meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the multi-State panel to meet within the next two days to decide water requirement of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Kerala and Pudducherry are the other two member states of CMC which is headed by the Union Secretary, Water Resources.

“It would seem equitable if Karnataka should manage water in such a way that Tamil Nadu receives 12 TMC ft during the month of December, 2012,” the committee said in its interim award.

The six-page award said 12 TMC ft water would not be enough to save all the standing crop in Tamil Nadu but it would also adversely affect Karnataka.

“Both the States would, after this release, have a shortage of approximately 47 TMC ft against their requirements in December... This is not an elegant situation, as both the States would be dissatisfied. But in the circumstances, this seems the only pragmatic solution, the best that can be done,” the award read.

It said the shortage would motivate the states to be “more efficient in the usage of available water.”

It agreed that both the States have less water in their reservoirs. While Karnataka has 36.30 TMC ft against the 10-year average of 53.70 TMC ft in its four reservoirs, Tamil Nadu has 17.04 TMC ft against a 10-year average of 59.30 TMC ft.

Protests

Protests erupted in Karnataka over the State Government’s decision to release water to Tamil Nadu. The issue rocked the Assembly, forcing its adjournment for the day following uproarious scenes.

Facing protests and Opposition heat, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar rushed to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat to seek their intervention as the State itself is facing a distress situation.

As Karnataka began releasing 10,000 cusecs late last night complying with the Supreme Court directive, attempts were made to block roads on Bangalore-Mysore highway here, prompting police to step up security.

The protesters, including farmers, stormed the Deputy Commissioner’s office here and laid siege to it demanding immediate stoppage of water release.

Cauvery Hitarakshana Samithi, a body of farmers spearheading the stir, has given a call for Mandya district bandh tomorrow.

The district administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges today and tomorrow. Protests also broke out in Chamarajanagar, another Cauvery basin district.

Vehicles have stopped plying from Sathyamangalam near Erode in Tamil Nadu to Mysore following demonstrations and hartal by some Kannada groups in parts of Karnataka.

For the second consecutive day, more than 800 lorries, 300 vans and 200 other vehicles have been parked at Sathyamangalam, Bannari check-post and near Thimbam.

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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