Karnataka cannot deny water to Tamil Nadu

The notification on Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal issued by the Centre makes it clear that Karnataka cannot decline water to Tamil Nadu by raking up any issue.

“Any upper riparian State (Karnataka) shall not take any action so as to affect the scheduled deliveries of water to the lower riparian states,” said the notification. However, the states concerned, can, by mutual agreement and in consultation with the Regulatory Authority make any amendment in the pattern of water deliveries, the notification said.

As the tribunal clearly specified the quantity of water to be released every month to Tamil Nadu from Karnataka during a normal year, the Cauvery Water Management Board will ensure water release to lower riparian states. During a distress year, the sub-committee will make suggestion on the quantity of release of water and based on it, the board will take a decision. The notification, which was issued on Tuesday, will come into force in 90 days from now and till then the release of water will take place as per the interim order.  

The eight reservoirs in the river basin areas–Hemavathy, Harangi, Kabini and Krishnarajasagara in Karnataka, Lower Bhavani, Amaravathy, Mettur in Tamil Nadu and Banasurasagar in Kerala will be operated in an integrated manner by the concerned state under the overall guidance of the board for each ten-day period throughout the year to meet the seasonal water requirements of the various states for irrigation, hydro-power generation, domestic and industrial uses, etc, according to the notification.

The Cauvery Management Board will be on the lines of Bhakra Beas Management Board and will be assisted by a sub-committee, the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.  

The Board will consist of a whole time chairman with an irrigation engineer of the rank of chief engineer having minimum 20 years experience in water resources management and two whole time members to be appointed by the Central government and in which one whole time member shall be an Irrigation Engineer of not below the rank of chief engineer with experience of 15-years in irrigation field. Two part-time members, one each from the Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Agriculture, can be appointed by the Centre.

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