|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Water schedules can change in distress years: Cauvery tribunal
February 07, 2007 15:47 IST
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal has in its final order ruled that although monthly schedules of release of water have been spelt out, the states can by mutual agreement and in consultation with Cauvery Regulatory Authority amend the pattern of water deliveries.
In its report/order running over 1,100 pages the CWDT said the authority will have to critically monitor the entire spectrum, including availability of storage and rainfall pattern in different sub-basins.
The normal date of onset of southwest monsoon in Kerala is June 1, but any delay in it would affect the inflows and consequently affect schedule of releases from Krishna Raja Sagar and Kabini reservoirs.
It would be advisable at the end of May each year, as much storage as possible during a good year should be conserved as it would help in adhering to the schedule of monthly deliveries.
However, if there are two consecutive bad years it would cause distress which would have to be tackled by the Regulatory Authority by relaxing the schedule of deliveries and getting the reservoirs operated in an integrated manner through the states concerned to minimise any harsh effect of a bad monsoon year.
In view of such practical difficulties, the authority would be at liberty to alter monthly or 10-day schedule of releases while making efforts to meet seasonal allocations for the crop as far as possible in consultation with the party states.
The flow is to be delivered at Biligundlu/inter-state contact point for five years and whatever adjustment is needed in the monthly schedule could be worked out in consultation with the party states and with the help of Central Water Commission for future adoption without changing the annual allocation among the parties.
The contribution of flows to the Cauvery basin are from these sources -- rainfall and inflows in different tributaries spread over various sub-basins of the basin, which is extended far and wide.
The flows are subject to variation depending on the occurrence of rainfall in different sub-basins. There is no control of human beings on the happenings in nature and the attempt has to be to made for beneficial use of available quantum of flows in any year and to distribute it to benefit the basin as a whole by integrating the releases from different storage reservoirs.
"For ensuring uninterrupted delivery of allocated shares to the parties concerned, we hereby direct no upper ripiran state shall take any action to affect the scheduled deliveries of water to the lower riparian state. The states can by mutual agreement and in consultation with the Regulatory Authority make any amendment in the pattern of water deliveries," the order said.
The total yield of Cauvery basin areas within Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry at 50 per cent dependability was assessed at 740 tmc and each state has been allocated share of water taking into consideration total available yield generated in the basin.
In the distress year, the allocated shares will be proportionately reduced among the states by the Regulatory Authority.