MYSORE: With southwest monsoon expected to hit the Kerala in the first week of June, the urban authorities entrusted to attend to water crisis are now planning to impound water at KRS dam for Mysor

MANDYA/BANGALORE, 30 SEPT: Falling in line with the Supreme Court directive, Karnataka today began releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, setting off a wave of protests against it in the river basi

The worrying decline in inflow into the major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin has forced the Karnataka government to reject the formula suggested by the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) for sharing the river water with Tamil Nadu.

To make matters worse, the south west monsoon is all set to end in the next 15 days, dampening any hopes of improvement in inflows in Harangi, Hemavathi, KRS and Kabini reservoirs in the Cauvery basin.

Further releases to be based on inflows into Kabini and Krishnarajasagar

The goodwill gesture extended by Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till September 20 has come to an end and further releases are expected to be purely based on the inflows into the Kabini and the Krishnarajasagar reservoirs, given the differences that have cropped up after a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority.

TN govt uses 120-year-old pact to stall tank renewal project

The Karnataka government believes the Tamil Nadu government might have thrown a spoke in its plans for a tank irrigation project, using a 120-year-old agreement between the erstwhile governments of Mysore and Madras. A committee, which clears Central government-funded projects, rejected the State government’s proposal to use sewage water generated in Bangalore to fill up dried tanks in Chikkaballapur and Hoskote under a Central irrigation programme. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) said no to using sewage water from the City to fill up the dried tanks under the Centre’s Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme because of a hitherto unknown agreement signed on February 18, 1892, between Mysore and Madras.

The temporary ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves has taken a financial toll on the Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR), which maintains wildlife and natural properties across the State.

Left with no opportunity to go on a tiger safari, tourists who had made advance bookings at the Kabini River Lodge, Bandipur Safari Lodge, River Tern Lodge and K Gudi Wilderness Camp, are besieging JLR offices to get refunds. The ban was imposed by the State government on July 25 in line with a Supreme Court order.

Karnataka is expected to convey to the Supreme Court that it is keen on adhering to the water release formula prescribed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) and that the vagaries of monsoon has prevented it from sticking to the formula so far this year.

Tamil Nadu had approached the apex court seeking a direction for the release of nearly 25 tmcft of water, claiming it as the shortfall based on the distress water-sharing formula. The petition of the lower riparian State is coming up for hearing on Monday.

To utilise water awarded by Kaveri Tribunal

Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph said the State would expedite steps to draw its share of water under the Kaveri Tribunal Award from the east-flowing rivers Pampar, Bhavani and Kabini. Replying to the discussion on the demands for Budget grants for his department, the Minister said the tribunal had awarded 3 tmc of water from Pampar, 6.07 tmc of water from Bhavani and 21 tmc of water from Kabani. The State was yet to take the benefit of the award.

A steep hike in water rates without any transparency has shocked consumers in Mysore resulting in protests and demonstrations demanding a rollback.

Water rates of both domestic and commercial consumption have been raised three-fold from May 1. The minimum charge of Rs 60 has gone up to Rs 175 from May 1. The MCC has however defended the steep rise by saying it had been raised throughout the state. Among those who opposed the hike was former minister and sitting N R constituency MLA Tanveer Sait (Congress).

The Supreme Court on Monday again refused to hear a plea of the Tamil Nadu government seeking a direction to the Karnataka Government restraining it from drawing extra water from Cauvery basin reservoirs.

A bench of Justices D K Jain and A R Dave told C S Vaidyanathan, counsel for the Tamil Nadu government, to mention the matter again on Friday for hearing the application.