Don't set up Cauvery Mgmt Board, Committee till Ktka polls: EC

The Election Commission has sought deferment of the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee till the completion of the poll process in Karnataka.

The poll body has asked the Union Ministry of Water Resources not to constitute the proposed Board and Committee that are necessary for operation of reservoirs and regulate water release in the Cauvery basin till May 5.

The states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, besides Kerala have locked horns over the sharing of Cauvery waters and Tamil Nadu is pressing the central government for early setting up of Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee as proposed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

"After considering all relevant facts of the case, the Commission has desired that the constitution of the Board/ Committee may be deferred till the completion of the poll in Karnataka ie 5th May, 2013," said an EC communication in response to a Water Resources Ministry's letter in this regard.

The Water Resources Ministry had sought EC's advice on the matter after a PMO reference to examine if any decision on Cauvery dispute at this stage will be violative of the Model Code of Conduct as election to Karnataka Legislative Assembly has been notified.

Cauvery is an inter-state basin having its origin in Karnataka and flowing through Tamil Nadu and Puducherry before outfalling in Bay of Bengal and the three southern states are locked in a fierce tussle over the sharing of its waters.

The Water Resources Ministry had said that for the purpose of securing compliance and implementation of final decision of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, it  had ordered that an inter-state forum to be called Cauvery Water Management Board be established.

"Action for constitution of Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) is under consideration of this Ministry in consultation with Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ). The view of MoLJ is awaited.

"The issue is highly sensitive politically and considering the emotions attached to the issue by the respective states involved, it is opined that constitution of the above mentioned bodies may be utilised by the political parties leading to undue political advantage as well as causing hatred among the communities," Water Resources ministry had told EC. 

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