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September 24, 1999
Karnataka rejects proposal on Cauvery
Karnataka today rejected the formula proposed by the monitoring committee of the Cauvery Valley Authority that it should release nine TMC feet of water to Tamil Nadu during this month and October saying any release was possible only after a fortnight.
The committee, which met for over five hours to decide the contentious issue, came out with a formula to Karnataka that it could release three TMC feet during the next one week and six TMC feet in October in view of the emergent situation in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and save the standing crop.
Z Hasan, secretary in the water resources ministry, who chaired the committee meeting, told newspersons that this formula was acceptable to all states barring Karnataka. Karnataka has certain reservations on the immediate release of water.
He said the formula would be submitted to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who is the chairperson of the Authority to take a final decision in the matter. A team of Tamil Nadu ministers are arriving in Delhi tonight for a meeting with Vajpayee to press their demand for immediate release of the water.
Hasan said the meeting discussed the need to save paddy crops in both states before formulating a solution. ''We have made certain recommendations to make up the deficit as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal order but Karnataka has certain reservations.''
There was also discrepancy about the quantum of deficit between the two states. While Tamil Nadu insisted on the water level to be measured at Mettur, Karnataka wanted the Central Water Commission to take the measure at Biligundlu, on the Karnataka border. According to Karnataka, it has to release only 20 TMC feet while Tamil Nadu claimed it should get 30 TMC feet.
Karnataka Chief Secretary B K Bhattacharya said his state was ready to abide by the formula provided it commenced after a fortnight and depending upon rain conditions. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary A P Muthuswamy said the release should be immediate.
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