Millennium Post

We aim to distribute Cauvery water judiciously: Technical team

A high-level technical team on Friday visited the Cauvery basin areas to assess the ground realities in Karnataka and said its aim is to distribute water in a judicious manner between the state and Tamil Nadu.

“The team’s aim is to distribute water between the two states in a judicious manner. We will be visiting the entire command within the shortest possible time,” Central Water Commission Chairman G S Jha, who heads the team, told reporters after a meeting with the officials of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry governments.

The team has been set up by the Supreme Court to assess ground realities of the Cauvery basin in the two states which have locked horns over the release of river water.

Karnataka Water Resources Minister M B Patil also attended the meeting and gave a power-point presentation, higlighting the distress situation in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka, saying the state is expected to fall short of 20 tmcft of water this year.

Jha said after studying the situation in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka, the team would place the existing ground realities before the Supreme Court.

He said Patil gave a power-point presentation, bringing to light the distress situation prevalent in the river basin in the state. “The irrigation (water resources) minister has very nicely submitted the issues concerning the state and we have very carefully taken note of all these issues,” he said.

Jha said the team would like to visit the entire area in the Cauvery basin in shortest possible time.

“The Minister (Patil) also has submitted a memorandum and we would consider the same,” he said, adding it highlights issues such as poor rainfall, damaged crops situation, drinking water need for towns, cities and villages in the Cauvery region in Karnataka.

The Minister also said the team would do a fair job after looking into the ground realities like availability of water and assess the requirement.

“The team was briefed in detail and they have now understood what is Karnataka’s exact situation. They will look into things like availability of water and assess the requirement and have assured of doing a fair job,” he said.

Patil said Tamil Nadu was better placed than Karnataka in view of the probable normal North-East monsoon.

Senior Karnataka officials, including Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Kuntia, Principal Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Rakesh Singh, Principal Secretary Department of Agriculture Maheshwar Rao, were also present at the meeting.

The technical team will visit the river basin along with nominees of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala to submit a report in the Supreme Court by October 17.
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