State may have to accept water-sharing formula with TN

State may have to accept water-sharing formula with TN

The Union  Water Resources Ministry is understood to have indicated in the meeting it had convened with the chief secretaries of the two states that the CRA will meet as soon as possible to finalise the distress sharing formula devised by Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).

The meeting on Friday, convened by  Ministry Secretary Dhru Vijay Singh and attended by Karnataka Chief Secretary S V Ranganath and his Tamil Nadu counterpart S Malati, discussed the formula.

Though the ministry’s secretary did not make any statements, it was learnt that he had hinted to  the chief secretaries about convening the CRA meeting at the earliest. The chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,  Kerala and Puducherry—the Cauvery basin states—are part of the authority constituted to implement the recommendations of the CWDT that awarded 205 tmc of water to Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu. At the meeting, the ministry insisted that Karnataka should accept a  permanent distress water sharing formula with Tamil Nadu every year till the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the pending case.

Karnataka rejected the suggestion saying there cannot be any fixed format or formula for equitable sharing of water in the event of distress caused by shortage of rainfall or flow. It insisted that sharing of water in such situations should be based on ground realities.

It reminded the meeting that despite the Cauvery Monitoring Committee's attempts to work out a distress formula in 2003, it failed to create a consensus among the states.

“Karnataka also insisted that the quantum of water to be released to Tamil Nadu should be decided by the CRA based on facts and circumstances prevailing at the relevant point of time,” sources in the Ministry told Deccan Herald.  However, Tamil Nadu requested the Centre to urge Karnataka to accept a distress formula.

The Centre is under pressure from the Tamil Nadu Government to get Karnataka commit to distress water sharing issue so that every year Samba and Kuruvai paddy crops grown in Cauvery basin areas in the state get water in case of monsoon failure.

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