Cauvery Supervisory Committee holds first meeting

Cauvery Supervisory Committee holds first meeting

Centre today initiated steps to implement the award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal by holding the first meeting of the Supervisory Committee which saw Tamil Nadu demanding its share of water for June as stipulated in the award.

During the meeting, chaired by Union Water Resources Secretary S K Das, representatives from Tamil Nadu said they wanted allocation of water as stipulated in the award for the month of June on pro-rata basis for first 10 day period.

Kerala Chief Secretary E K Bharat Bhushan lamented that his state has not been able to utilise the "limited allocation" available to it because they have not been able to develop water resources projects.

Chairman, Central Water Commission Rajesh Kumar, who is a member of the panel, said the previous water year was a deficit year and all major reservoirs in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in Cauvery basin have little storage.

The live storage in all the four reservoirs in Cauvery basin in Karnataka at the end of May stood at 3.77 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) and corresponding live storage in Mettur (Tamil Nadu) was 3.73 TMC.

Keeping in mind the poor storage and impending monsoon in Karnataka, Sarkar decided that the position regarding storages and allocation will be reviewed in the next meeting likely to be held on June 12.

The Central Water Commission emphasised the need for installation of automatic data observation and data transmission system in all the reservoirs where the data is proposed to be collected and transmitted.
The governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu agreed have to the proposal.

The supervisory committee was constituted by the Supreme Court last month as a pro-tem measure for implementing the Cauvery tribunal award.

While Water Resources Secretary is the Chairman, 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 rapped the Centre for delaying the decision and had on February 4 set February 20 as the deadline to issue notification.

The Tribunal, comprising Chairman Justice N P Singh and members N S Rao and Sudhir Narain, in a unanimous award in February 2007 had 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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