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Karnataka, TN spar at Cauvery Supervisory Committee meeting

New Delhi, Jul 15, 2013 (PTI):
Cauvery water supply project, at the Shiva Samatolana dam in Mandya District. DH photo

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu today sparred at the meeting of Cauvery Supervisory Committee here over the latter's share of the Cauvery water.

Tamil Nadu sought an assurance from Karnataka as well as the Committee that its share of water for July be provided. But Karnataka refused to give any assurance saying it has already released 34 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet of water to Tamil Nadu within the first 13 days of this month.

Karnataka is learnt to have said that it will try to release Tamil Nadu's remaining share of 10 TMC at the earliest.

The Committee, headed by Union Water Resources Secretary Alok Rawat, also refused to extend an assurance saying it can only report the quantity of water released by Karnataka to the Supreme Court at the end of the month.

It was also pointed that Tamil Nadu has received more than 60 per cent of its monthly demand in the first two weeks of July.

Tamil Nadu is understood to have pointed that the water flow was due to monsoon and Karnataka should release its share as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award notified in February this year.

The Water Resources Ministry will release the minutes of the meeting tomorrow. During the meeting, Pudducherry said it wants to set up two water guaging stations. While there was a general agreement on the issue, it was asked to make its demand in writing. Tamil Nadu said it would respond to Pudducherry's demand in writing after studying the proposal.

In its opening remarks, Tamil Nadu demanded the formation of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee immediately.

"The government of Tamil Nadu would like to point out that our request to the Government of India in this regard has not been acted upon positively. Having notified the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in February, 2013, it is beyond our comprehension as to why the Government of India should be dragging its feet," it said.

While the Water Resources Secretary is the Chairman of the committee, chief secretaries of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry are its members, besides officials from the Central Water Commission. After a delay of six years, the final award of the Cauvery Waters Dispute Tribunal was notified in February.

The move came after the Supreme Court had rapped the Centre for delaying the decision and on February 4 set February 20 as the deadline to issue a notification.

The Tribunal, comprising Chairman Justice N P Singh and members N S Rao and Sudhir Narain had, in a unanimous award in February 2007, determined the total availability of water in the Cauvery basin at 740 MC at the Lower Coleroon Anicut site.

In what was then described as a balancing act, the Tribunal gave Tamil Nadu 419 TMC of water (as against the demand of 562 TMC), Karnataka 270 TMC (as against its demand of 465 TMC), Kerala 30 TMC and Puducherry 7 TMC. For environmental protection, it had reserved 10 TMC.


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