Water resources ministry will notify award soon

With the Supreme Court directing the Centre to notify the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal final award, the Union Ministry of Water Resources is likely issue a gazette notification on it by end of this week or early next week.

The ministry has already got the Law Ministry’s approval for notifying the final award. The final draft of the notification will be sent to the Law Ministry and same will be published in the gazette, a senior official in the Ministry. The tribunal's award will come into effect within 90 days of its notification. As per law, the award comes into being after being notified by the Centre through its publication in a gazette.

Once the Centre notifies the final award, institutions like the Cauvery River Authority(CRA) chaired by the Prime Minister and the CMC will cease to exist and new set of bodies like Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee will be constituted.

The Cauvery Management Board will be headed by its chairman, of the rank of Chief Engineer having 20 years experience in irrigation sector at the government of India. Besides, senior officials from Ministry of Water Resources will be its members. All the riparian states will have their representatives on the board.

The Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, a sub group headed by a member of the board, will be constituted to assist to the board on water storage, crop and other related issues. The committee will comprise experts from irrigation, agriculture, animal husbandry, and related fields.

After the board and committee constituted, it will take all the decisions on related to sharing of water among Cauvery basin states as per the final award of the tribunal and the government of India would not interfere on this issue any more, sources said. The board will have a liberty to conduct auditing of water utilisation in all basin areas.  The tribunal, comprising chairman Justice N P Singh and members N S Rao and Sudhir Narain, in a unanimous award had determined the total availability of water in the Cauvery basin at 740 TMC feet at the Lower Coleroon Anicut site. 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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