Within hours of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee requesting Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna to release 3 TMC of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, the latter (Tamil Nadu) promptly rejected the offer.
The water is to help launch the mainstay paddy crop in the delta region in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur district.
State PWD Minister and former chief minister O Panneerselvam, in a statement, said the storage level in the Mettur reservoir stood at 4.798 feet, after providing for the dead-storage capacity of five feet.
The 3 TMC of water, even if received, would take the level only up to 7.798 feet, he pointed out.
Instead, the prime minister should prevail upon Karnataka to release 90 TMC for the entire cropping season, he said.
Paneerselvam quoted experts to say that the mainstay paddy crop required a daily quota of 1 TMC of water, taking the total to 90 TMC for the three-month period, if the crop had to yield results.
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