Water Politics!!!


Shreenesh Raman

Cauvery River near Tiruchy

Summer time water politics between Tamilnadu and Karnataka has taken centre stage once again. Farmers in the Cauvery delta region depend on Mettur water for irrigation. Meanwhile, the harsh summer prevailing in the region has created uncertainty among farmers in Thanjavur about the Kuruvai crops.

Karnataka irrigation department officials in Bangalore they said said the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam has around 88.90 feet (Friday) of the 124.80 feet maximum capacity. Districts bordering the water catchments areas, in Mysore and Chamrajnagar are facing acute water shortage. Karnataka irrigation department official said on condition of anonymity said, “When the dam crosses 95 feet, Tamilnadu can expect water.”

Mettur Stanley reservoir has around 79.38 feet of water with an inflow of 3320 cusec. The officials in public works department said usually water is released when it reaches 95 feet. With daily outflow of 1TMC average, farmers in the delta can complete Kuruvai in 40 days. However, both PWD officials and farmers are doubtful on South West monsoon and Mettur water release by June 12.

Delta farmers in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Karaikal in Pondicherry state are not in a mood to venture into the fields and start preparation for Kuruvai crops. Meanwhile, Chief Minister demanding Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) meeting has brought hope among farmers.

Speaking to Sathyanarayana of Consortium of Cauvery delta farmers association in Tiruvarur, he said the DMK failed to pressure its partner in the centre to gazette the tribunal order. He also supported the Chief Minister for demanding a CWDT meet. As the state is facing severe power crisis, pump-set owned farmers too are unwilling to cultivate.

Cauvery Delta
                                                                Source: Google Images

Politically, the Karnataka government is taking advantage understanding the DMK-AIADMK rift. Farmers in delta region has demand all parties to be united when fighting in Cauvery issue. Speaking to farmers in Thanjavur, they said “it is not wise to destroy the ground water level by using pump sets during monsoon time.”

However, the agriculture department officials are ready to distribute seeds and fertiliser once water from Karnataka reaches Mettur. In delta region, around 1.05 lakh hectare is set to be cultivated in Kuruvai season.

The agriculture department has around 3135 tonne of urea, 3634 tonne of DAP, 3785 tonne of Potash and 3921 tonne of complex fertilisers. Also, around 486 tonne of seed are in stock and ready for distribution, said officials. Varieties of ADT 36,43 and 45 are in adequate numbers to meet the demand, assured agriculture officials.  

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