The new 600-MW single unit of Stage-III reaches its full load. The power-deficit State may soon get some relief.

Accepting the report of the expert team of the Central Water Commission, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Karnataka Government to release forthwith 2.44 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu to save the standing crops on about one lakh acres in the Cauvery delta region.

A three-judge Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha, J. Chelameswar and Madan B. Lokur passed this order after accepting the report of the expert team which visited Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur districts on February 5 to assess the water requirements to save the standing crops.

The Cauvery Monitoring Committee at its meeting on Thursday said it would “not be appropriate” to decide that Karnataka should release more waters from its dams to Tamil Nadu, considering that the upper riparian State will have only 16 tmcft available in its reservoirs for drinking purposes till May 2013.

“Water for drinking is a priority over water for irrigation. Both States must conserve water in their dams for drinking purposes,’’ the panel said in its order. Noting that as per the interim award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) that provides for pro rata sharing of distress, Tamil Nadu should receive 1.51 tmcft during January, the panel said that even if no water was released from the reservoirs of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu continued to receive water from the “intermediate catchments” between Karnataka dams and the Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu.

Seeks remainder of what was originally demanded earlier this month

With the imminent closure of the Mettur dam for irrigation looming large, the State government has decided to move the Supreme Court, seeking around 20 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft). The quantum is the remainder of what (30 tmc ft) was originally demanded by Tamil Nadu before the court early this month. Subsequently, the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) directed Karnataka to release 12 tmc ft. Since the beginning of this month, the State realised about seven tmc ft of the Cauvery water.

Once the Union government publishes the award in gazette this month-end

The stage will be set for the constitution of a mechanism to implement the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as soon as the Union government publishes the award in its gazette this month-end. The establishment of the implementation mechanism becomes crucial if the award, delivered by the Tribunal in February 2007, were to come into force from next water year, beginning June 2013.

Moves fresh petition in Supreme Court for direction to neighbouring State

Tamil Nadu on Thursday filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court for a direction to Karnataka to release 52.8 tmcft of water till February 2013 to save crops raised on 15 lakh acres. The State also wanted the court to properly define the ‘season’ to ensure that adequate water was released to protect the interests of farmers.

Centre urged to ensure 40 tmcft water from Karnataka

With a prolonged dry spell in the past fortnight after the lashing that the Nilam cyclone has inflicted, the delta farmers are once again at the mercy of Rain God. Only a few spells of moderate rain in the next few weeks supplemented by supply from the Mettur dam can save the standing samba crops in lakhs of acres, asserts Mannargudi S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association.

The Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) met on Thursday and asked Karnataka to release a further 4.81 tmcft of river water to Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu within the next 15 days. It, however, did not decide the quantum of shortfall in releases during the season, which as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s interim award, Karnataka must make up by the end of the season.

Tamil Nadu maintained that there was a shortfall of 52 tmcft between June and September and wanted Karnataka to make up for that. Karnataka, however, contested this.

It would decide the fate of the new Legislative Assembly-cum-Secretariat complex on Omandurar Estate. The present government wants to convert into a multi-super speciality hospital.

Chemplast Sanmar Limited’s chemical plant in Mettur, Udupi Power Corporation’s thermal power plant at Yellur in Karnataka, Alfa Infrapop Private Limited’s thermal power plant at Vizianagar in Andhra Pradesh are some of the other notable cases before the Bench, which would start hearing on the afternoon of November 2.

Cauvery River Authority's refusal to review water release order

The Karnataka Government has moved the Supreme Court challenging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision as Chairperson of the Cauvery River Authority refusing to review his order directing Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15. In its special leave petition, Karnataka maintained that the CRA by an order dated October 11 had rejected the plea to review the order on the ground that the review petition was not maintainable.