Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Friday described as "arbitrary" the decision of Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) that his state release 12 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu and said he will challenge it before the Cauvery River Authority (CRA). "It is an arbitrary decision and without any basis. The CMC had published a formula that Karnataka should release 6.12 tmcft of water during December under the distress formula," Shettar told PTI.
He said CMC has now ordered that Karnataka release 12 tmcft of water and insisted this is not acceptable to the state. "We will be challenging this order before the Cauvery River Authority," he said.
Final award of Cauvery tribunal by month-end
The Centre is set to notify the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal by the end of this month, Chairman of the CMC and Water Resources Secretary DV Singh told the panel members on Friday. He said this decision was as per the orders of the apex court of the country.
During a meeting of the panel, Karnataka has been asked to provide 12 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu in December and both states were advised to use water judiciously. The panel met after the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked it to decide the water requirement of both the states for the standing crop and take a final call within two days.
A six-page order said 12 tmcft of water would not be adequate to save all the crop in Tamil Nadu and would not affect Karnataka. The CMC said both the states, following the release, would have a shortage of approximately 47 tmcft against their actual requirements in December and advised both the states to utilise groundwater resources to make up for the shortage. Admitting that it was not a pleasant solution, the order said it was the best possible solution that could be offered at the moment.
The CMC added that both the states had less water in their reservoirs than previous years. While Karnataka has just over 36 tmcft against the 10-year average of 53.70 tmcft in its four reservoirs, Tamil Nadu has only17.04 tmcft against a 10-year average of 59.30 tmcft.
Kerala and Puducherry are the other members of the official panel that assists the CRA headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
(With PTI inputs)