A high-level technical team set up by the Centre to gauge the Cauvery-basin situation down south reached Bengaluru on Friday and held a meeting with top government officials of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Karnataka water resources minister MB Patil apprised the eight-member panel headed by Central Water Commission chairperson GS Jha about the situation in the land drained by the 802km river, whose sharing of water has been a matter of prolonged conflict between the peninsular states.
“We will check the availability of water in various reservoirs in the two states and submit our report to the Supreme Court,” Jha said after the meeting. “Karnataka has submitted a memorandum on the availability of water and the prevailing ground situation.”
The visiting team is set to conduct aerial survey of reservoirs in the Cauvery for a week from now. The members will also visit the Krishna Raja Sagar, Harangi, Kabini and Hemavati reservoirs over the next two days amid Karnataka’s refusal to implement a Supreme Court direction to release 6,000 cusecs of water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, creating a major judicial stand-off.
The committee was formed in the wake of a review petition Karnataka filed with the apex court, asking the Centre to set up such a body to assess the ground situation in the Cauvery basin areas of the two states.
The team will first survey the basin areas of Maddur in Karnataka’s Mandya district before heading to the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. The members will later head for Tamil Nadu.
After assessing the situation of Cauvery water in both the states, the team will submit a report to the Supreme Court on October 17.
The Supreme Court has directed Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of water daily for 12 days from October 7.