New Delhi: The monsoon delay is threatening to trigger off another battle for waters of the River Cauvery between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as the latter's quota of water, under the current understanding for sharing, cannot be fulfilled this year.
The Krishna Raja Sagar dam near Mysore - one of the biggest dams on the Cauvery - has water levels that are only 8 tmc feet above the 'dead storage' level, which is 64 feet. Karnataka is supposed to release 10TMC of water to Tamil Nadu from June onwards for the cropping season.
Even if Karnataka were to release all the 8 tmc to Tamil Nadu - which it says it cannot - it still would not meet the requirement of 10,000 million cubic feet for June. The Karnataka Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa, isn't too keen on sharing the water.
"Our reservoirs have maybe 30 to 35 per cent of water as compared to last year, but when there is no water, how do we release any," he said.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal now advises that a 'proportionate' distress-sharing formula should be worked out - but no specifics have been given yet. The delay in the monsoon has resulted in the fast drying up of dams built over the southern river and a new distress formula will have to be worked out.
The PWD Minister of Chennai, Durai Murugan said, "There has been no rain in Karnataka and the dam there is close to empty, so we were expecting this. I can't comment on the distance sharing formula right now as the case is in court."