Therefore, they urge the government to insist the Centre to order Karnataka to release the necessary quantum of water to Tamil Nadu. According to P Viswanathan, state president of Tank and River Ayacutdars Welfare Association, though the water was not released for Kuruvai cultivation on the customary date of June 12, release of water for Samba on October 2 is definitely a welcome step. At the same time, farmers are in a state of despair whether the present storage of 58 tmc water will be adequate.
Viswanathan pointed out that last year, water was released on September 20 when the water was 87 feet at Mettur reservoir but the crops had withered away and after that there was acute water shortage. Also, Karnataka had failed to implement the interim order of releasing 137 tmc of water as per the Cauvery tribunal award. This move had left the farmers debt ridden.
Meanwhile, Karnataka is yet to release 73 tmc of water based on the interim order. “The present storage in Mettur reservoir is inadequate for taking up cultivation and the monsoon rain too may go against the prediction and so it is time for the state to insist the Centre to instruct Karnataka to get the legal quantum of water, said Viswanathan.
Cauvery Dhanapalan, General Secretary of Cauvery Farmers’ Protection Association, said, farmers have received the water behind schedule and the available water can be used only for 65 days. Samba crops can be saved only when we receive water for 135 days. “We need to get our due share from Karnataka,” Dhanapalan said.