Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday renewed her request to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by him to finalise the distress sharing formula. She also wanted the PM to direct Karnataka to release water immediately to help farmers in Tamil Nadu cultivate the Samba crop.
Pointing that the PM was yet to respond to her demand, on May 18, to urgently convene the CRA meeting, the CM said the Supreme Court sought the views of the Centre on the issue during the hearing of an interlocutory application filed by the TN government on August 13, seeking directions to convene the CRA meeting.
“The farmers in Cauvery delta, having lost the Kuruvai crop, are hoping at least to raise one single Samba crop for their livelihood. It is therefore, imperative that the Karnataka government is advised to release water to make good the shortfall quantity as per the distress sharing formula and also to share the flows in the current distress situation. Therefore, I request you to kindly convene the meeting of the CRA forthwith,” the CM said.
As per the interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, as on August 23, 2012, Mettur dam should have released 95.480 tmctft against which only a meager quantity of 9.187 tmcft has been released. Further, as per the distress sharing formula evolved by the Central Water Commission, the Mettur reservoir should have realised about 43.837 tmcft as on August 23.
The CM pointed out that as per the rules, the quorum for the CRA meet would be three members in addition to the Chairperson.
In case no consensus was reached during the meeting, the decision of the PM, who headed the authority, would be decisive, she pointed out. “Therefore, without prejudice to the pending proceedings in the SC, the PM may convene a meeting of the CRA and the distress sharing formula can be adopted as a situation of distress has arisen now,” the CM said.
She brought to the notice of the PM that Karnataka did not release any water from its reservoirs during the current irrigation year, even though it opened the dams for local irrigation. Mettur dam could not be opened till date due to the reluctance of Karnataka even to share minimum flows, she added.