Reading this report makes me feel that the Kannadigas have been cheated. The 21tmcft unused for Kerala and the 10 tmcft for the environment reasons should be retained by Karnataka rather than going to Tamil Nadu. I really don\’t have anything against TN getting 419 tmcft – which may be fair enough. But when Karnataka has already got the lesser of 270 tmcft ……… then maybe it should be given the advantage of this handicap. Its unfair of the tribunal.
Kerala handicap is TN’s gain
From K Subrahmanya DH News Service New delhi:
Kerala’s inability to fully utilise its share of Cauvery water – 30 tmc ft – may prove to be a boon for Tamil Nadu.
Kerala’s inability to fully utilise its share of Cauvery water — 30 tmc ft — may prove to be a boon for Tamil Nadu.
In its final award, the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal has granted Tamil Nadu the exclusive right to utilise water unused by Kerala. And, in a normal monsoon year, Karnataka will have to ensure a flow of at least 21 tmc ft of water from the Kabini reservoir through the Biligundlu gauging station, in addition to ensuring Tamil Nadu its share of 192 tmc ft.
“We have directed that the whole of unused water out of Kerala’s allocated share of 30 tmc ft would go to Tamil Nadu till such time as the former develops its own potential to use the same. We, however, make it clear that the Kabini’s flows of this unused water from Kerala to Tamil Nadu will be in addition to the flow of 192 tmc ft…,” the final order states on Page 209.
The tribunal has not elaborated its rationale. Surprising, since there is another claimant too, Karnataka.
As per the tribunal’s final report, out of Kerala’s 30 tmc ft share, the yield from the Kabini river works out to 21 tmc ft.
The entire quantum is now available at the Kabini reservoir as the state is currently not utilising it. In fact, Kerala is reported to be using just 6 tmc ft of Cauvery water.
It’s not clear whether Kerala had suggested that Tamil Nadu be given the exclusive rights to utilise its unused share of water. Kerala, however, is believed to have made a plea for a trans-basin trade-off arrangement to help it utilise its share.
The tribunal has recommended setting up of a gauging station along the Kerala-Karnataka border to measure the water yield from Kerala in the Kabini river to ensure that Karnataka ensures release of the same quantum of water at Biligundlu to Tamil Nadu, in addition to the 192 tmc ft.
The tribunal has also recommended that the Cauvery Monitoring Board closely monitor the yield and flow from Kerala’s share in the Kabini.
The tribunal’s order, thus, effectively enhances the quantum of Cauvery water available to Tamil Nadu in a normal year, though it is fixed at 419 tmc ft. In addition to the 419 tmc ft, Tamil Nadu gets at Biligundlu (from Karnataka) 10 tmc ft on environmental account and another 21 tmc ft from Kerala’s unused account.
It increases Tamil Nadu’s effective share to 450 tmc ft.