New Delhi: With Karnataka and Tamil Nadu embroiled in a dispute on sharing of Cauvery river water, a central government team will visit the two states to get an account of reservoir levels, standing crops and water flow.

Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said here that the team will visit the two states "at the earliest".

Sources said the team, led by Water Resources Secretary DV Singh, is likely to visit Tamil Nadu Thursday and Karnataka on Friday.

The visit will help the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) to take a call on releasing water from Karnataka for Tamil Nadu beyond Oct 15.

The sources said that CMC was likely to meet Oct 8.Cauvery River Authority (CRA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had Sep 19 asked Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily between Sep 20 and Oct 15.

The CRA had said that the CMC shall review the position by Oct 15 so that appropriate release of water beyond the date may be decided in consultation with the state governments.

Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had walked out of the CRA meeting after registering a protest over the ruling and expressing inability to release the Cauvery water due to drought in the state.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said her state would approach the Supreme Court to get the state's due.

Tamil Nadu had sought 24,000 cusecs of water from Karnataka for a specified period. Asked about Karnataka's demand to the CRA to review its decision, Bansal said that the meeting of the authority has to be convened again.

"On his own, the prime minister cannot do it," he said. The CRA includes chief ministers of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

(Agencies)

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