Sunday, August 3, 2003



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Cauvery reservoirs’ inflow 
hits record low

DH News Service BANGALORE, Aug 2

With monsoon playing truant, the inflow of water into the reservoirs in the State’s Cauvery basin has not only reduced, but has also hit a 29-year low. This is not all, the storage position is worse than that of last year when the State witnessed a severe drought.

STORAGE POSITION

  • State’s present storage  - 27.3 tmc

  • Storage is lowest in last - 29 years

  • 58 pc deficit in inflows

This alarming ground reality will be placed along with statistics before the emergent meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) convened by the Centre in New Delhi on August 7, to discuss a formula for distress sharing of waters among the Cauvery basin states.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting convened by Chief Minister S M Krishna here today as a prelude to the CMC meeting.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Water Resources Minister H K Patil said the situation is so serious that the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin have received only 42 per cent of the average inflow (average of the last 29 years). 

“The monsoon has very much disappointed the State as there is a huge deficit of 58 per cent in the inflows to reservoirs,” he remarked.
The State has a total live storage of 27.3 tmc from the four Cauvery basin reservoirs (Harangi: 6.8 tmc; Hemavathi: 7.8 tmc; KRS: 4.6 tmc and Kabini: 8 tmc), he said. 

At present, water is being released to Tamil Nadu from Kabini reservoir. Nearly 6,900 cusecs of water is being released everyday from this reservoir as against an inflow of 6,163 cusecs (on August 1), he said.

PROPOSAL: Meanwhile Karnataka has indicated to the Centre that it will require a minimum of 40 tmc of dead storage in the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin, as a cushion for technical reasons, to facilitate release from reservoirs, Mr Patil said. 

According to sources, this has been indicated to the Centre through a proposal on the distress-sharing formula in July this year.

The State has also argued that the contributions in the catchment area between the measuring gauge located at Biligundlu, on the inter-state border, and Mettur reservoir should also be considered as water released by Karnataka.

On an average 1,800 cusecs of inflow per day is generated in the catchment area between Biligundlu and Mettur dam, sources claimed. Meanwhile, among other things, the meeting of the monitoring committee is expected to discuss the position of reservoirs in the basin states and the progress of the technical committee which had been entrusted with the task of evolving a distress-sharing formula. 

The technical committee, headed by Mr R K Sharma, commissioner (projects) in the Union Water Resources Ministry, was set up on June 9 last year.

Chief Secretary B S Patil and Irrigation Secretary Channabasappa will be representing the State at the CMC meeting along with officials from the Law Department.

The meeting of the CMC, which is headed by the Union Water Resources Secretary, will also be attended by the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry, the chairman of the Central Water Commission and senior officials.

SUNDAY HERALD

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