Failed Karnataka monsoon leaves Tamil Nadu fields dryJuly 13th, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS
Mettur (Tamil Nadu), July 13 (IANS) A 40 percent shortfall in monsoon rains in Cauvery’s upstream catchment areas coupled with dwindling storage at the dam here has left officials in a catch-22 situation Sunday. “While the present storage of roughly 32 thousand million cubic feet (TMCFT) can irrigate the Thanjavur delta rice fields little over a fortnight, we are not in a position to protest over the approximate 50 percent short supply of water from Karnataka as rains have failed upstream,” an official said.
Situated 350 km southwest of Chennai, the dam over Cauvery has recorded an inflow of less than 42 TMCFT against Karnataka’s mandatory supply of 56 TMCFT during the quarter starting May, officials said.
“Though Karnataka has to supply the required water as stipulated by the Supreme Court in February 2007, it cannot keep up its word because rains have failed on its side,” officials added.
Farmers in the eastern rice yielding delta, 300 km east of here, are worried that transplanted green paddy fields, starved of water, will turn yellow and wilt under the unforgiving sun.
“At least two of the dams across the Cauvery on the Karnataka side are illegal according to our riparian rights guaranteed since late 19th century. Who will compensate us when our fields dry up without water?” asked K. Soundarapandian, a farmers’ association activist on phone from Kumbhakonam.
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Tags: 19th century, activist, catch 22, catchment areas, cauvery, cubic feet, dams, delta, farmers association, fortnight, inflow, monsoon rains, paddy fields, rice fields, riparian rights, shortfall, storage, supreme court, thanjavur, tmcft