ನವದೆಹಲಿ, ಸೆ. 29: ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಜಲಸಂಪನ್ಮೂಲ ಸಚಿವೆ ಉಮಾ ಭಾರತಿ ಅವರ ನೇತೃತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿಗುರುವಾರ ನಡೆದ ಕಾವೇರಿ ಸಂಧಾನ ಸಭೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ನೀಡಿದ ಸಲಹೆಯನ್ನು ತಮಿಳುನಾಡು ತಿರಸ್ಕರಿಸಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ, ಯಾವುದೇ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೂ ಕಾವೇರಿ ನೀರು ಬಿಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ಹಾಗೂ ಕಾವೇರಿ ನಿರ್ವಹಣಾ ಮಂಡಳಿ ರಚನೆಗೂ ಒಪ್ಪುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ನಾಳೆ ಸುಪ್ರೀಂಕೋರ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಇದನ್ನೇ ಹೇಳುತ್ತೇವೆ ಎಂದು ಸಿದ್ದರಾಮಯ್ಯ ಅವರು ಸುದ್ದಿಗೋಷ್ಠಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳಿದರು.
ಅಣೆಕಟ್ಟುಗಳಲ್ಲಿನ ಸದ್ಯದ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಮನಗಂಡು ವರದಿ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಲು ಉಭಯ ರಾಜ್ಯಗಳಿಗೆ ತಜ್ಞರ ತಂಡ ಕಳಿಸುವ ಸಲಹೆಯನ್ನು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಮುಂದಿಟ್ಟಿತು. ಆದರೆ, ತಮಿಳುನಾಡು ಈ ಸಲಹೆಗೆ ಒಪ್ಪಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಕೊನೆಗೆ, ಜನರ ಹಿತಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಉಭಯ ರಾಜ್ಯಗಳು ಕೋರ್ಟಿನಿಂದ ಹೊರಗಡೆ ಮಾತುಕತೆ ನಡೆಸಿ ಸಂಧಾನ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಿ ಎಂದು ಉಮಾಭಾರತಿ ಸಲಹೆ ನೀಡಿದರು ಎಂದು ಸಭೆಯ ವಿವರವನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸಿದರು. ಸಭೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿದ್ದರಾಮಯ್ಯ ಅವರು ಮಂಡಿಸಿದ ಅಂಶಗಳನ್ನು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಯಥಾವತ್ತಾಗಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ...[ತಮಿಳುನಾಡಿಗೆ ಈ ಬಾರಿ ಉತ್ತಮ ಮಳೆ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ]
1. At the outset, may I thank Hon'ble Ms. Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Water Resources for taking urgent steps in felicitating this Inter-State meeting on Cauvery.[ಉಮಾ ಸಲಹೆ ತಿರಸ್ಕರಿಸಿದ ತಮಿಳುನಾಡು, ಸಂಧಾನ ವಿಫಲ]
2. Madam, today we are meeting under extraordinary circumstances to find out an amicable and practical solution to the impasse arising from the severe deficiency in the south-west monsoon rainfall in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka and predictably good north-east monsoon rainfall in Tamil Nadu which starts in mid-October.[ನೀರು ರಕ್ಷಿಸಿ, ಇಲ್ಲಾ ಕಠಿಣ ಬೇಸಿಗೆ ಎದುರಿಸಿ, ಖಡಕ್ ಎಚ್ಚರಿಕೆ!]
In fact, we had two consecutive drought years in 2015-16 and 2016-17. We all equally know, this dispute on sharing of Cauvery Water has a history of more than 125 years occupying the best techno-legal minds. However, the nature of crisis faced by us in this water year has put to test the very constitutional foundation on the Inter-State sharing of water in India.[ಕಾವೇರಿ ನೀರು ಬಿಡುವುದು ಬಿಡದಿರುವುದು ದೈವೇಚ್ಛೆ ಮೈಲಾರ್ಡ್!]
I need not take you into the pending legal and constitutional issues and the orders passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in this month of September 2016 and releases made by Karnataka, I think, we are here to find a solution to the problem.[ಟೈಮ್ ಲೈನ್ : ಸಂವಿಧಾನ ಬಿಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಹಾದಿ ಹಿಡಿದ ಕಾವೇರಿ ವಿವಾದ]
I am sure, under your mediation as mandated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in its order dated 27.09.2016, the people of both the States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will find a necessary guidance on how to "live and let live" in using the severely limited water resources of the Cauvery basin in this distress water year of 2016-17.
3. The Inter-State Cauvery basin is spread across the States of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Pondicherry. Historically, the dispute started between the upper riparian Princely State of Mysore which now forms part of Karnataka and the lower riparian Madras Presidency which then formed part of British India. Under the shadow of archaic natural flow theory, the lower riparian Madras secured huge quantity of water to the disadvantage of upper State of Mysore.
The Agreements of 1892 and 1924 were seen as imposed on Mysore by the people of Mysore at large. However, after independence in 1947 and reorganization of States in 1956, the new State of Mysore (known as Karnataka after 1973) asserting its equal share in the waters of Cauvery.[ನಿರ್ವಹಣಾ ಮಂಡಳಿ ರಚನೆ, ಸುಪ್ರೀಂ ಪೀಠಗಳಲ್ಲೇ ದ್ವಂದ್ವ!]
The State planned new projects namely Kabini, Hemavathy, Harangi etc., to harness Cauvery water for meeting the demands of drought areas. However, the efforts of Karnataka met with unreasonable resistance from the lower riparian Madras renamed as Tamil Nadu in 1969.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was constituted in 1990 to resolve the water dispute. The State of Karnataka led evidence of eminent experts known at International level on hydrology, agronomy, rice, groundwater etc., to establish that its demand for providing dry irrigation or supplementary irrigation to one crop in the drought area is a part of equitable share.
However, the records shows Tamil Nadu asserted its claim to 28 lakh acres developed under the shadow of colonial agreements for growing wet rice crop using large part of Cauvery water.
The Tribunal in its Final Order dated 05.02.2007 allocated 740 tmc of water at 50% dependability and imposed an unreasonable burden of ensuring 192 tmc annually which includes whopping 134 tmc between June to September at the inter-state border Biligundlu in a normal water year. These issues are subject matter of Civil Appeal filed by Karnataka in the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
4. The sharing of water in a normal year is different from sharing of water in distress year that too in Cauvery basin which has unique physiographic feature.
It is necessary to recognise an important feature of the Cauvery basin, that is the impact of The South-West monsoon and the North-East monsoons is in two distinctive zones both in space and time and they are almost mutually exclusive. The southwest monsoon impacts the states of Kerala and Karnataka in the months June-September above the Biligundlu check point, giving an yield of 483 TMC.
Whereas, the north east monsoon primarily impacts Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the months of October to. December giving an yield of 257 TMC below Biligundlu check point. Further it may also be noted that the yields above the catchment areas of KRS and Kabini reservoirs are controlled flows.
The yields below the reservoirs and up to Biligundlu are uncontrolled flows, which contribute about 80 TMC, as acknowledged in the Tribunal order. Unfortunately, the yields of two distinctive zones are added to indicate the total yield of 740 TMC. In a normal year the south-west monsoon was expected to yield 257 TMC inflows into the four major reservoirs of Karnataka up to September, against which it has received only 129.85 TMC.
As of today it is clear that the South West Monsoon has failed causing severe distress in the Karnataka and Kerala parts of Cauvery basin. Whereas, the IMD has forecast a normal north eat Monsoon. The Tribunal in the Final Order expects riparian States to share the water on proportionate basis in a year which is not a normal year.
Therefore, when the annual yield is less than 740 tmc, the available water is proportionately reduced among the riparian States. Though this rule of proportionate sharing or pro-rata sharing appears on the face of it just and reasonable, but, on a deeper examination of the climatic factors of the Cauvery basin, particularly, the impact of two rainfalls in two different parts of the basin, makes it impossible to implement.
This is the root of the cause which we are here to address. I may draw your attention to what the US Supreme Court had said in connection with Colorado Water Dispute in 1962 [Arizona vs. California: 10 Led 2d 542 at 574]. The US Supreme Court observed that:
"....While pro rata sharing of water shortages seems equitable on its face, more considered judgment may demonstrate quite the contrary. Certainly we should not bind the Secretary to the formula. We have held that the Secretary is vested with considerable control over the apportionment of Colorado river waters....."
5. Even while implementing the interim order passed by the Tribunal on 25.06.1991 read with order dated 03.04.1992, the difficulties in working the pro-rata (proportionate) sharing was noticed.
The Cauvery River Authority - a statutory body constituted vide Notification dated 11.08.1998, in its 3rd meeting dated 10.10.2001 had decided that the authority would - "work out an acceptable and equitable procedure for pro-rata sharing of the distress and accordingly requested the basin States to put forward their specific suggestions for consideration by the Authority".
However, even after deliberating for a decade, no acceptable formula could be worked out for pro-rata or proportionate sharing of water in a distress situation. The State of Tamil Nadu itself has noticed the difficulty in operating clause VII of the Final order on proportionate sharing of distress and sought the following clarification in Reference No.8 from the Tribunal in its application dated 27.04.2007 under Sec.5(3) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956:
"Grant relief by giving appropriate explanation and guidance for the sharing of flows during distress period as also for recognizing and ensuring supplies to the age-old irrigation during the distress period in the basin".
Even Union of India thought it necessary to seek explanation of distress sharing by specifically asking following clarification in its application dated 01.05.2007:
"2(B) It has been mentioned that Cauvery Management Board (CMB) will identify situations of distress in the basin (page 233, Vol.V). It is not clear whether 'distress year' and 'situations of distress' are envisaged as two different entities. It is also mentioned (page 233, Vol.V) that distress will be shared after the distress conditions.
Whether they relate to individual periods (i.e. end of SW or NE monsoon season or end of both SW and NE season or end of a particular crop season(s) or year as a whole is not clear. Tribunal may kindly explain some procedure for distress sharing to avoid future problems, especially, in view of the fact that the upper catchments in Karnataka and Kerala are predominantly under the influence of South-West monsoon where as the catchments in Tamil Nadu are influenced by North-East monsoon."
6. If an annual sharing of water on proportionate or pro-rata basis is difficult, the monthly sharing or mid-season sharing of water during distress in Cauvery basin is almost impossible. In fact, Clause-VII which is sought to be relied upon by Tamil Nadu does not speak about monthly sharing of distress at all. Moreover, the monthly sharing of distress require monthly normal yield or monthly component of annual yield of 740 tmc.
However, the Tribunal did not estimate the monthly component by relying upon the outdated series of 1934-35 to 1971-72 proposed by Tamil Nadu. The fundamental problem associated with monthly sharing of distress arises from two separate rainfalls: south-west monsoon falling in Karnataka during June to mid-October and north-east monsoon falling in Tamil Nadu during mid-October to December.
Until the impact of north-east monsoon is known, distress cannot be shared. If the water is divided at the end of August or September as Tamil Nadu proposes, it works out to the disadvantage to Karnataka. The requirement of Tamil Nadu depend upon the performance of north-east rainfall. The pattern of rainfall shows that the relation between the south-west and north-east is in the negative. If south-west fails, north-east is likely to succeed. In the last 26 years, north-east has failed only on four occasion making the strike rate as 85%.
7. The sharing of distress on monthly basis premised on the overestimated June to September monthly quota of 134 tmc creates unjust situation. The performance of flows in the post 1980 show that the deficit or arrears which accrue in pre-September get mostly cleared in post-September period. Keeping this principle in mind, the Tribunal while dealing with the shortfall in water year 1995-96 has specifically commented in its order dated 19.12.1995 that :
"....Our order dated 25th June, 1991 clearly spells out that the deficiency in a particular week has to be made good in a subsequent week and not necessarily within a particular month in which the deficit occurs. Until the deficit is made good, the deficit would accumulate.
In a particular year, shortfall or excess in releases would have to be adjusted in an appropriate manner before the close of the particular season. Distress as contemplated in our Order dated 3rd April, 1992 does not envisage that same will be in relation to a particular month. In deciding whether the distress situation prevails, one ought to consider the precipitation in the entire season and not mere slackness in rains in any particular month or months."
8. The Tribunal in its Final Report (Vol. V, Chapter-7) considered the effect of successive bad years and expected the Regulatory Authority to relax the monthly schedule.
The relevant observations are:
".....However, if there are two consecutive bad years, it would cause distress which shall have to be appropriately tackled by the Cauvery Management Board/Regulatory Authority by relaxing the schedule of deliveries and getting the reservoirs operated in an integrated manner through the States concerned to minimize any harsh affect of a bad monsoon year. In view of such practical difficulties, the Cauvery Management Board/Regulatory Authority shall have the liberty to alter monthly and/or ten-daily schedule of releases while making effort to meet the seasonal allocations for the crop as far as possible, in consultation with the party States."
9. From the above, I appeal to you that the sharing of water in distress situation cannot be decided on a mathematical reduction formula as Tamil Nadu proposes, particularly at the end of August or September. The whole thing has to be seen at the end of the season based on ground realities which include performance of south-west and north-east monsoon and the available ground water in the delta region of Tamil Nadu.
10. The Karnataka part of Cauvery basin has suffered the most in this water year. At present, the water resources in Karnataka are only 31 tmc of live storage. The expected inflow into Karnataka reservoirs in the remaining upto February is not more than 40 tmc if the performance of previous bad years of 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2012-13 are considered totaling about 71 tmc.
However, Karnataka requires at least about 26 tmc for meeting the drinking water requirement and about 60 tmc for meeting the water needs of standing crops, totaling 86 tmc. Therefore, Karnataka being in shortage for its own needs, cannot spare any water from its reservoirs. Both the Houses of Karnataka Legislature considered the matter in the special Session called on 23.09.2016 and passed the identically worded Resolution as :
"It is now resolved to direct that in this state of acute distress it is imperative that the Government ensures that no water from the present storages be drawn, save and except for meeting drinking water requirements of the villages and towns in the Cauvery basin and for the entire city of Bruhat Bangalore.
The above resolution is unanimously passed after carefully considering the needs of the inhabitants of the State of Karnataka whose interests are likely to be gravely jeopardized if water in the four reservoirs is in any way reduced other than for meeting the drinking water requirements of inhabitants in the Cauvery basin including the entire city of Bangalore."
11. The position in Tamil Nadu is far more comfortable than in Karnataka. The present storage at Mettur in Tamil Nadu is about 43 tmc live. In the remaining part of the season upto the end of February 2017, the Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu would receive about 42 tmc from the uncontrolled intermediate catchment in Karnataka and catchment between the interstate border and Mettur.
The total of 85 tmc should be sufficient for meeting the needs of Tamil Nadu if we consider what was drawn by Tamil Nadu for its Samba rice crop of 15 lakh acres in the similar bad years as shown below:
"The water sharing in this distress water year of 2016-2017, should be guided by water shared in the similar bad years upto the end of August which are 2002-2003, 2003-2004 and 2012-2013. The position of flows ensured by the State of Karnataka and the storages available in Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu in those water years as compared to this water year are set out below:-
Water Year Flows ensured at the inter-State border Biligundlu at the end of August Live storages at Mettur in Tamil Nadu at the end of August
2002-03 32.891 tmc 30.19 tmc
2003-04 17.247 tmc 20.60 tmc
2012-13 19.390 tmc 38.67 tmc
2016-17 33.05 tmc 35.17 tmc
The above comparison reveals that the waters ensured by Karnataka in this water year of 2016-2017 upto the end of August is not only comparable but adequate. The likely flows at the inter-State border Biligundlu in the month of September would be between 13 to 20 tmc depending on the rainfall, since in the similar bad years of 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2012-13 was 13.774 tmc, 13.385 tmc and 20.345 tmc respectively."
12. Never in the past decade, the yield in the Cauvery Basin were so bad. The deviation from the normal rainfall has been quite high and the whole south-west monsoon did not give us the minimum required rainfall and inflows that could have saved the crops of the farmers.
The south-west monsoon was expected to yield 257 tmc inflows into the four major reservoirs of Karnataka in a normal year upto the end of September based on 41 years average (1974-75 to 2014-15) against which the 4 reservoirs as on 28.09.2016 have received only 129.85 tmc (50.5% of the average flow). This clearly shows that in all probability this year is a going to be severe distress year.
13. The inflows into four major reservoirs (Harangi, Hemavathy, Krishnarajasagara and Kabini reservoirs) upto end of August was 114.66 tmc against the average inflow of 219.38 tmc, resulting in an enormous deficit of 104.72 tmc, which is about 47.7%. The live storage in all the four major reservoirs was 48.0 tmc against the designed live storage of 104.55 tmc, which is about 46% only which would indicate precarious situation about water availability in the Karnataka storages.
14. Since the water year 2015-16 was admittedly a 'bad year' and 2016-17 up to now has all the prospect of a 'bad year' if not a worst year, it is respectfully submitted that in compliance to the directive contained in para 29 of Chapter-7 read with Clause-XVII of the Final Order it is requested to alter as a first step the monthly/ten days schedule of releases "while making efforts to meet the seasonal allocations for the crops as far as possible with consultation with the party-States". In the second step, after alteration of the monthly/ten daily releases, the liability of Karnataka at the interstate border Biligundlu should be tentatively decided having regard to the deficient yield in Karnataka catchment of Cauvery basin.
In the third step, if it is found that what has been already released by Karnataka is lesser than what is due to Tamil Nadu on tentative assessment, the shortfall should be considered for releases at the end of the season having regard to performance of North-East rainfall and the ground water in the delta region. The ground reality at present stare at the face that no further releases from Karnataka can be directed without destroying the standing crops of farmers and causing shortages in the drinking water supplies in Karnataka.
In these circumstances, I respectfully submit for your kind consideration that no further releases from Karnataka's reservoirs can be made. It would be more appropriate, if the Union Government sends a Team of Experts to the Cauvery basin in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to verify the ground realities, storages, inflows and outflows for taking informed decision.
I thank the Hon'ble Minister for Water Resources for convening this meeting.
Chief Minister of Karnataka