Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kaveri: Current Situation in Karnataka's Dams

Background: It is the second week of September 2016. A very bad week in south India. Lot of disturbance, violence, animosity etc. It is that season of the year where Supreme Court gets involved and Kaveri is a big topic. This year, it went way worse than the previous few years due to many reasons. 
  1. In 2012, I had written a comprehensive writeup on what is the Kaveri issue, what are the issues from Karnataka's side, what are the issues from Tamil Nadu's side, and how this can be solved in the long run - Kaveri River Water Sharing : What Are The Solutions? I had listed 10 solutions, based on what I read from experts. Now more solutions have come up too, like desalination. 
  2. In 2016, The same has been used in this better articulated Quora answer. - How can the Cauvery (Kaveri) river issue be solved?

For those who want long term solutions, and points of view from both states, please spend time in those links, and also check out references from each. You will learn a lot about actionable steps!

This analysis is Not for YOU: And those who are busy distributing violence videos, sarcastic or insulting memes, chest beating that Kaveri is only "ours", please continue doing that. Don't read this any further. Because my intention is not to discuss any point that is fruitless when it comes to final water sharing details. I am more focused on actual figures, statistics and actionable steps.

What is the water situation in Karnataka in September 2016? Now the rest of this writeup would be purely showing the water situation in Karnataka's Kaveri basin as of September 13th, 2016. This is fully using a fantastic analysis done by a Twitter user named V Vinay - @ainvvy . He calls himself a curious academic entrepreneur. Again, all the information provided from this point on wards, is only from Karnataka's dams, as I did not see any qualitative analysis or data from Tamil Nadu's dams. If you know, please share in the comments and I will update here.

Names of Dams: Mr. Vinay managed to download the daily inflow and reservoir levels at the 4 Karnataka dams: Harangi, Hemavati, KRS, and Kabini.

Water Measurements: Before getting into the data, we need to understand TMC and cusecs. For historical reasons, the measurement is in terms of cubic feet. 1 cubic feet is roughly 28.3 litres of water. cusec stands for cubic feet/second. Or as @sheksis joked, 28 Bisleri bottles/second... More relatable :)

What did Supreme Court say on 12th September 2016 in the modified order? 
The current SC order for example asks Karnataka (KA) to release 12,000 cubic feet of water every second. TMC is a thousand million cubic feet, which is a billion cubic feet of water. This is 1,000,000,000 = 109 = 1 billion cubic feet. Also, important to note that this has NO component of time involved here. It is just a measure of water. 

So if 10,000 cusecs of water is released for a day, it amounts to 0.86 TMC of water. 15K cusecs amounts to 1.3 TMC a day.

In Human usage terms: To get a sense for these numbers, how much of water is used for drinking, washing cloths, bathing etc. In other words how much water is needed for human in Indian terms, per day? It is usually taken to be about 100 Litres per person per day. This translates to a little over 3.5 cubic feet of water. Do not compare with other countries where more water is available per capita. @abhicrux said, 135 liters/person/day is used for standard hydraulic calculations. All uses included. Rural south India gets less than 100 liters today. So we will go with 100 liters on the average side per person, in a water starved south India. 

Drinking Water Needs of Karnataka's Kaveri basin: The estimated number of people in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and other Kaveri basin areas is about 1.6 to 1.8 crores. This amounts to about 0.063 TMC of water a day. Let's call it drinking water, even though it is for other daily use purposes too. Essentially anything that is not related to irrigation which is the primary user of Kaveri water. Note that not all parts of Bengaluru get Kaveri water. This computation is only for the areas getting Kaveri today.


Taken over a year, it amounts to about 24 TMC of water. This is the water that the state needs to have to take care of drinking water needs. Of course, there will be losses of all sorts, so the figure is likely to be more like 35-40 TMC. Losses are usually in the form of evaporation loss, distribution loss and leakage from dams and pipes.

Water in Dams of Karnataka: Now let us get back to the 4 dams. Harangi has a storage capacity of 8 TMC, KRS in Mandya district has 45 TMC. This is the biggest and the most important reservoir in south Karnataka. Hemavati has 35 and Kabini has 16. That totals to about 104 TMC that can be stored MAX by Karnataka at any given point of time. With around 750 TMC of water estimated for Kaveri river as a whole in a good monsoon year, this is about 14% of Kaveri water that can be stored by Karnataka, at any point in dams.

This is the capacity. Current levels as of September 13th 2016 are at about 5 in Harangi and about 10 in the remaining three. They add up to 35 TMC in total across ALL dams in Karnataka on Kaveri basin. All these are computed with live storage of water without getting into dead storage analysis (which amounts to water that can't be released from dam at the bottom). An additional discharge at the current levels of 12000 cusecs to TN over the next 8 days will mean 8.3 TMC of water. Since some of the water will surely be released for other purposes, and with some inflow, the likely level in 8 days is 25 TMC. Again 25 TMC in total across ALL dams in Karnataka on Kaveri basin. This 25TMC is what we will have to survive with until June-July of 2017 when you will see south west monsoon filling in dams again. That is at least 9 full months with 25 TMC of water, if no further rains happen :(

What about farmers in Karnataka? Forget irrigation using above mentioned water levels. Farmers are screwed in Karnataka for this year! You need 100 to 150 TMC of water for irrigation for rest of the year in Karnataka. Not sure if they could even get one full crop this year, while Tamil Nadu is planning for the second crop now, and might get a third crop also early next year. This is the fundamental reason why Karnataka was burning for days in September 2016.

Dynamics of Dams and Inflow Analysis: Let’s look at the dynamics of the dams. Vinay's data starts from 2011. So we have about 5.5 years of data. Here is a table of the total inflow into various dams. Kabini has small capacity but matches Hemavati in inflow.
As you can see, Harangi and Hemavati sit behind KRS, while Kabini is ‘independent’ and joins later.


Keep in mind that some outflow from Hemavati can be inflow to KRS, etc. Vinay focuses on KRS and Kabini to look at the data more closely.

Here is Kabini. Most of the water in the months of June to September.
And then the inflow dies down. Look at September. This time we are done through about 10 days. And the inflow has been a mere 1.5 TMC!
Likewise, KRS dam near Mysuru, has got an inflow of 3.3 TMC for the first 10 days of this month. Will it hit 10 for the month?

Then Vinay plotted the reservoir level and inflow for KRS. This graph is revealing. Notice how the reservoir level shoot up at monsoon (where the inflow is heavy) and how it progressively decreases until the next. There are small inflows in between, but noting compared to what happens during the monsoon.
And notice the 2016 inflows and reservoir levels. It is quite pathetic. So the usual inflow after monsoon will also be limited this year. Usually, post September of any year, the inflows are about 25-30 TMC. We don’t see it happening this time. But we don’t have enough data to predict.

What's for Karnataka for rest of 2016 and first half of 2017? It is going to be a very tough year at this side of Karnataka. Farmers are already ditched for 2016. Drinking water might be barely sustained at the current storage levels, for the next 9 months. See above graphs and inflow analysis.

Vinay says that Tamil Nadu gets two monsoons and has better groundwater than Karnataka. Some people are disputing this two monsoon theory, but what Vinay means is that Tamil Nadu gets both South West and North East monsoons. Remember Chennai floods in 2015? That was the North East Monsoon season.

After reading this analysis, it became very clear why Karnataka farmers and Kaveri delta drinking water users, are absolutely outraged at the current situation of draining the remaining precious water from dams. Every TV channel in Karnataka is saying the same thing - We have no drinking water.. why are we being forced to leave the remaining water for growing 2nd crop in Tamil Nadu? Drinking water takes precedence over everything else when it comes to human needs. 

Any Suggestion for Politicians of TN and KA? The two states need to demonstrate better sense than landing in court every time there is a distress. Lack of sagacity is the problem. For those who say the Supreme Court would have ‘looked’ at the data and come to the conclusion, Vinay says, he does not know. These graphs don’t seem to suggest so…

There is more in the data, but Vinay says that he will take it up on some other day.  Vinay got all these data using a simple python program… shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes for a programmer to write.

Let's stop here, hoping wisdom prevails all around. I don't think a blog or set of tweets can change politics, courts or tribunal happenings, but this is only meant for common people like you and me, to understand the dire situation in Karnataka today.

Source of Data for Karnataka's dams and water levels: https://www.ksndmc.org/Reservoir_Details.aspx

I wish I could find similar data on Tamil Nadu's dams starting with Mettur for September 2016, to see how good or bad the situation is for Tamil Nadu farmers. Again, if you have similar data from TN, please do share.

Thanks again, Mr. Vinay for a classic analysis.

51 comments:

  1. How can this happen:
    https://indiankanoon.org/doc/80709/

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    1. Former Advocate General Acharya talked about this 2 days ago. Karnataka could have technically stuck to Tribunal, and not approached Supreme Court as a second party. But law is very confusing. Some say PM has no rule, some say PM has.

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    2. REAL shraddhanjali to our Jawans.....
      Time for the prayers for FRIENDSHIP between India and Pakistan... when things go out of one's control ,one should pray....there is no religious ritual or any paperwork done among friends yet FRIENDSHIP exists.... FRIENDSHIP is considered the best relationship... people of same mindset become friends... let all the Indians pray that Pakistanees become our friends...then there will be no fight and no fear... positive mindset people of both the countries can work together to remove negativity....those forced into terrorism might be able to give it up on their own.... prayers work...all Indians please pray for this FRIENDSHIP so that no jawan family member is in tears ever....

      Delete
    3. REAL shraddhanjali to our Jawans.....
      Time for the prayers for FRIENDSHIP between India and Pakistan... when things go out of one's control ,one should pray....there is no religious ritual or any paperwork done among friends yet FRIENDSHIP exists.... FRIENDSHIP is considered the best relationship... people of same mindset become friends... let all the Indians pray that Pakistanees become our friends...then there will be no fight and no fear... positive mindset people of both the countries can work together to remove negativity....those forced into terrorism might be able to give it up on their own.... prayers work...all Indians please pray for this FRIENDSHIP so that no jawan family member is in tears ever....

      Delete
    4. REAL shraddhanjali to our Jawans.....
      Time for the prayers for FRIENDSHIP between India and Pakistan... when things go out of one's control ,one should pray....there is no religious ritual or any paperwork done among friends yet FRIENDSHIP exists.... FRIENDSHIP is considered the best relationship... people of same mindset become friends... let all the Indians pray that Pakistanees become our friends...then there will be no fight and no fear... positive mindset people of both the countries can work together to remove negativity....those forced into terrorism might be able to give it up on their own.... prayers work...all Indians please pray for this FRIENDSHIP so that no jawan family member is in tears ever....

      Delete
    5. REAL shraddhanjali to our Jawans.....
      Time for the prayers for FRIENDSHIP between India and Pakistan... when things go out of one's control ,one should pray....there is no religious ritual or any paperwork done among friends yet FRIENDSHIP exists.... FRIENDSHIP is considered the best relationship... people of same mindset become friends... let all the Indians pray that Pakistanees become our friends...then there will be no fight and no fear... positive mindset people of both the countries can work together to remove negativity....those forced into terrorism might be able to give it up on their own.... prayers work...all Indians please pray for this FRIENDSHIP so that no jawan family member is in tears ever....

      Delete
  2. First of all to construct four dams itself is not good for both the states. Secondly tamilnadu failed to conserve water along the cauvery basin. Connecting of rivers and canals is the best solution and keep the wasting of water to a minimum level. Supreme court could not have advised release of water without proper analysis. When there is water crisis karnataka govt has said everytime that not a drop of water can be released. Atleast it is welcome to say release of some quantity of water. Publicity about this matter should be avoided. Matter can be solved between two water works dept of karnataka and tamilnadu. Realease or non release of water should be done silently instead of too much publicity. Jai hind

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    1. Only KRS is on Kaveri river. The rest are tributaries. See the map.

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    2. By krishnaswamy's logic, even building dams like Mettur, bhavani sagar & all others in TN is also not a good idea! SC does not have expertise about water issues. I agree with his point about avoiding needless publicity.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Sir what about hydro power generation if we take water frm Hemavathi,kabini.Do TN will give free electricity????

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    Replies
    1. Nothing comes back to Karnataka free of cost.

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  4. thank you for sharing this information with us. it is definately very helpful for the public to know the facts. Lets hope our leaders look at the issue and come for a face to face talk..

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  5. Karnataka also gets rain during both seasons,south west & North east. In fact the South West monsoon brings comparatively less rains in Tn when compare to KA.
    I am writing this a neutral person with no bias.

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    Replies
    1. Just go to the tables provided above in the blog. See the inflow of water to Kabini or KRS dams in December, January and February periods. Almost nothing.

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  6. Woww, what an analysis Kiran, Vinay...
    These are the facts and figures we need to do for any matter for a "Thought processed solution".
    On this "Engineer's Day" this is A eye opener and Facts must speak.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ramesh - Hopefully a new Engineer solves this issue with some way of bringing another 500 TMC of water in the next 10 years to this basin.

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  7. Fantastic facts and figures about Kaveri issues. During monsoon cloud seeding must take place jointly by 2 states (TN also must worry if SW monsoon fails which triggers problems/issues when TN wants only kaveri water not even water as per Dr SS Says). TN looks for long term sea water desalination methods similar to Minjur desalination plant Mettur is close to Neyveli. Based on monsoon conditions success or failure according to water level the kaveri water to be released.

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    Replies
    1. Cloud seeding has almost never worked in India so far. I have seen for 10+ years. It is better to focus on desalination or river linking.

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  8. https://www.facebook.com/91reservoirs/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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  9. i try to update the reservoir statuses of prominent states from the cwc site ... u can see the water levels of all the dams in KA, TN etc ...on a weekly basis ...

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    Replies
    1. Yes. But what about smaller dams or canals beyond Mettur?

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  10. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/israel-proves-the-desalination-era-is-here/

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  11. Very well explained article. Everyone should read this!

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  12. The law is an ass. The Supreme Court gave its verdict on the judicial principle that old practices get preference over new events. The British constructed the Mettur Dam so that they can get a large revenue. (At that time the revenue was mainly from Agriculture.)The British restricted irrigation in the princely Mysore State to benefit their Presidency. Now the Supreme Court says that irrigating three crops is a long standing practice in Tamilnadu whereas drinking water provision is a new event in Karnataka. That's why...!

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    1. Yes what fault dud you find in it..ok in other terms if TN is going to use this water as drinking water for madras and not for irrigation......will you account it?????...

      Additional demand should always be solved by additional or extension project...not keeping or challenging the design as per today(which will vary each day).

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  13. Excellent analysis Kiran and Vinay!
    We need these kind of facts and figures are required to solve the water problem. Thanks for the research.

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  14. Excellent analysis Kiran and Vinay!
    We need these kind of facts and figures are required to solve the water problem. Thanks for the research.

    ReplyDelete
  15. KA getting rains during North East Monsoon alone, TN getting rains during South East Monsoon alone.

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    Replies
    1. Correction : TN getting rains during North East Monsoon alone, KA getting rains during South East Monsoon alone.

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  16. Very good article. You should have been the one presenting the case from KA in front of SC

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  17. Very nice analysis Kiran. Writing again as a neutral person, doesn't the State of Karnataka have any prerogative here to implement more water conservation/ Reverse Osmosis measures if it feels that it's falling short of supply to meet the enormous demand. Why should Tamil Nadu have to bear the brunt of this unpardonable error on behalf of this defunct govt. in Karnataka. Regards,

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  18. Yes i appreciate this extensive research work....but again i am letting you know the basic distrubution engineering above all. First let us keep this point away about monsoons each year which will vary or cannot predict and the TN may have more underground reserves as this cannot solve in a moment.

    Now take the design analysis of dam(s) when each was built to serve the purposes of both states. Example:- XX TMC to karnataka(hectares of land to serve and no of population to serve) and xx TMC to TN(% of water can be shared each year as per stored water, leave about expected water which is out of control).

    Now take a statistics and publish which state has increased consumption and which state has decreased consumption against design volumes?????..

    1. If consumption has increased by any state....how they will have first rights over which other state has to get???.

    2. The new increased consumption should be considered by new additional capacity or new dams not by just keeping hands in others plate of share for which it is designed??? Whether others crop five or ten times in each year what stops to follow design????.

    Please explain this too. Dams cannot be constructed as we like at locations.

    Please arrive % of share each year as per stored values of that year and share without problems. For these no need to rely on future expected things. What is available to be shared. Thats it. Cauvery Water management board has to be formed and each year will approve and announce the % to be shared with be the only ethical method.

    For additional consumption increase plan the alternate method or leave consuming.

    Will this common engineer's doubt will be shared and worked upon if this page is not biasing side.

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  19. One more is that...desalination has to two steps RO...
    It is always (economy)wise. To put desalination plant for drinking water.

    Cannot even think of using desalinated water to irrigation.

    The surface water from rivers with minerals is good and needed for the irrigation of both states.

    Whoever having drinking needs should find other sources like lakes or desalination as per their needs.

    RO will completely remove minerals. Drinking water needs less minerals compared to irrigating water. In otherwords more minerals to be added to desalinated water if it is to be served for irrigation than the drinking water.

    It is common practise all over world today in modern industrial plants too and in past over 1000 years(karikalans kallanai) to dam water for irrigation and to dug well(safest form of drinking water).

    Wells for drinking water will automatically lead to water conservation techniques as it is considered highly precious. In other forms if this drinking water is obtained from dam and all..it will not lead to water conservation techniques in simple words....

    This is the practise.

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  20. As India as a country, we suppose to share the % of water based on availability of that year not the amount of water. As I am from AP krishna basin, farmers don't have crops for last 2 years in Telangana and AP as we don't have rains to fill KA reservoirs 100 %. First KA filling their dams 100% and releasing excess water to down states which is not right. We are all Indians atleadt we suppose to share the natural resources.

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  21. I think the people of Karnataka have themselves to blame for this situation. Their elected representatives have failed them more than once. According to their own data almost 50% of water supplied to Benguluru is wasted (un-accounted). Would be a useful start to look for solutions there! Also, if it is indeed statistically so obvious that Karnataka has a dire drinking water shortage then why would 2 forums (incld SC) rule not once but twice to release water to TN. Something not right with the stats you are showing? Instead of ordinary citizens culling out data from various sources why doesn't the govt of Karnataka make public the stats they are presenting to SC and yet loosing the case everytime.

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    Replies
    1. When money and power can overrule and nepotism is at its tip, no data or stats can make anyone happy!

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  22. China has 60 billion trade volume with India. You failed to account for that.it cannot afford to loose that market in short term. For a potential 20 billion market that will be fully ready after 5-10 yrs. China cannot afford to fight with India because of economic reasons and if they fight now they still have to use Indian ocean until new route is ready plus they do not want problem in south China sea where they are eyeing natural gas reserves. So I see this analysis as bit incomplete and biased. In war scenario only Pakistan is the real loser and China only looses part of 50 billion investment.

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  23. How can you decide the things based data provide by Karnataka alone...supreme Court is not a fool do give judgement...Karnataka blindly increase their cropping area. Now crying...
    It's tamilnadu right to have water..same problem of drinking water is faced by Tamil nadu..
    What would we do if northeast mansoon also fails like southwest...our farmers will not even get single crop...

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  24. How can you decide the things based data provide by Karnataka alone...supreme Court is not a fool do give judgement...Karnataka blindly increase their cropping area. Now crying...
    It's tamilnadu right to have water..same problem of drinking water is faced by Tamil nadu..
    What would we do if northeast mansoon also fails like southwest...our farmers will not even get single crop...

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    Replies
    1. Do you have any current data on how much water is there in Tamil Nadu dams, canals and also how many lakh acres are being cultivated this year?

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  25. My suggestion is cut all the relation trade and every means to connect Pakistan and china..there is no need to be friends with two Jan like China and a foe like pakistan..I mean complete no access between China and Pakistan..India is strong and independent enough to flourish and develop..any help required we take help from other countries by signing a deal with Russia or France or US etc but no help from China and Pakistan cause even china may show a false friendship but we all know how these Chinese ppl are..

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  26. Why not some smart engineer or a group of enterprising engineers find a way of pumping about 30000 cusecs of water from Arabian Sea, desalinate it and make it flow Parnell to Kaveri to be used only for agricultural purposes in three main districts of Karnataka and finally merge it with Cauvery near KRS
    This water need not be shared with other states and present sharing formula with other states will continue
    Our farmers will be extremely happy as more areas can be brought under wet land cultivation. There is much scope also to properly treat the desalinated sea water to suit agricjltural use
    I welcome comments

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    1. The big problem for Karnataka is that the Kaveri river basin is separated by the Arabian Sea coast by the second largest mountain range in India. Pumping huge amount of water 3500 to 4000 feet above sea level, and then bringing down 250 KM is not at all easy.

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  27. I’m a proud Indian, and love Pakistan as my young Bro, I’m hopeful someday India will only be ONE nation to hug Pak in their last days.

    I always felt that Pak decisions on terror side are initiated by their internal group but never thought its China’s mind behind.

    Until now I wanted to win Pak hearts and today learnt that I not only buy a China mobile I have to acquire complete patent and I mean it. We Indians are very strong when we decide to do something.

    Dear Friend China, your nervous looking at India is justified, remember we never wanted to overturn your bizz but you glitch us and we will return you.

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  28. Kiran, you did this very useful analysis of the water situation in Karnataka last September. I am keen to see you 'close the loop' .. and tell us what happened all the way to August 2017, almost 1 year later

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