The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) was likely to be convened shortly as requested by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to discuss the distress-sharing formula.

In response to the Tamil Nadu’s application, the Centre, in its affidavit, said as per the Cauvery River Authority (Conduct of Business) Rules, 1998 the quorum of the meeting should be three members in addition to the Chairperson.

‘Join hands to fight for Cauvery water’

Organic Scientist G. Nammalvar strongly felt that linking of rivers to fight water scarcity should begin within Tamil Nadu. He told this to newsmen here after addressing the gathering on “Conservation of Water Bodies”, that was organised by the ‘People’s Federation for Tapping Excess Cauvery Water in Ponds and Lakes’, on Sunday.

“Direct sowing is the way out in times of delayed water release and scarcity’’

As acres and acres of untilled land dot the tail-end of the Delta this year, there lays a tilled stretch of some 20 acres in Madapuram in Thiruthuraipoondi, bordering Nagapattinam, in the first and the only rains that lashed a few days ago. Seventy-six-year-old Oysul Karunai awaits the second spell to re-till his fields and broadcast the seeds through direct sowing.

While there is so much of brouhaha over sand quarrying, “there is quite a lot sand available untapped in the water spread area of Mettur Dam,” says N. Natarajan, former Superintending Engineer, Public Works Department, and author of two books on the Cauvery. This would enormously benefit the dam itself, he asserts.

“The difference between removing sand from the river and the water spread area is that the holding capacity of the river would be lost once sand is removed from the river. One cubic foot of sand can hold three cubic feet of water. But when sand and silt are removed from the water spread area, more water could be accommodated,,” he explains. Mettur Dam has a water spread area of about 153 sq km.

The Centre is yet to take a decision on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s request, made in April to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, for appointing a new Chairman to the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal after Justice N.P. Singh resigned his post on health grounds.

As a result, the Tribunal is unable to function to decide on Tamil Nadu’s applications seeking certain directions against Karnataka government. Within days of Justice Singh’s resignation, Ms. Jayalalithaa sought the Prime Minister’s intervention. She said that as per Section 5A of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, the Tribunal proceedings could continue only if a person was nominated as Chairman.

While being confident of a good samba crop this year, the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association (CDFA) is pushing for a permanent solution to the perennial problem of the north east monsoon rain water running off into the sea.

While the bounty from south west monsoon is controlled by Karnataka as the major Cauvery catchment area is located in that State, north east monsoon benefits Tamil Nadu directly.

The Supreme Court will hear on August 17 Tamil Nadu’s application for a direction to the Centre to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority immediately to perform its statutory obligations and approve the distress sharing formula evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee, in view of the distress situation in the State.

A Bench of Justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur fixed the date after senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, sought an early hearing. Initially Mr. Justice Jain told counsel it would not be possible for the court to direct the Prime Minister to convene the CRA. Mr. Vaidyanathan said that the court could make a request to the Prime Minister and cited past instances.

The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday moved the Supreme Court for a direction to the Centre to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority immediately to perform its statutory obligations and approve the distress sharing formula evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) for sharing of flows of the Cauvery in view of the prevailing distress situation in Tamil Nadu.

In its application, the State said: “During the current irrigation year, 2012-2013, though the southwest monsoon is not vigorous in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka, the State has received 21.9 tmcft in its four major reservoirs up to July 20,

Thirumalairajanar river is being ravaged, exposing the village to vagaries of monsoon

At the stroke of dawn, tractors can be seen along the embankments of the Thirumalairajanar river at Polagam. Here, in Polagam panchayat of Thirumarugal union in Nagapattinam district, illegal mining of sand in the river reigns supreme. Each day, even before the sun ascends the horizon, the bed and banks of this tributary of the Cauvery is slowly and steadily ravaged, exposing the village to the vagaries of the monsoon, which is often accompanied by cyclone.

Charging Karnataka with “unjustly utilising” Cauvery water for summer irrigation, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J.