State objects to Cauvery committee proceedings

Karnataka government calls for rectifying mistakes

State objects to Cauvery committee proceedings

The Karnataka government on Sunday objected to the proceedings of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee’s first meeting held on Saturday on sharing of distress water among Cauvery basin states and adhering to guidelines on water releasing issues.

The State demanded that “correct” proceedings should be issued in order to clear the doubts that might be created on sharing of water.

Karnataka Chief Secretary S V Ranganath in a letter to the member secretary to the Supervisory Committee said that as the State was yet to submit its observations on draft rules business of the committee on water sharing issues, no decision should be taken till then.

He said the State required at least 10 days for the purpose.

The proceedings of the committee issued by the Union Water Resources Ministry soon after its first meeting said that “the panel decided that any shortfall from normal yield shall be distributed amongst all the states in proportion to the distress which is also reflected in the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal Final Award”.

The proceedings also said that “the Chairman emphasised pending constitution of the Board (Cauvery Management Board), the guidelines for monitoring the implementation of the Award (Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal) by the Supervisory Committee have been derived from the Award and will be followed”.

While raising objections for including these two points in the proceedings, Karnataka said as the State has sought time to reply on these two issues, the committee should rectify its mistake and issue corrected proceedings immediately.

It may be noted that Karnataka has been maintaining that distress sharing of water should be based on ground realities on storage of water in reservoirs and its drinking water requirement. Besides, the State is also objecting to the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal guidelines for monitoring the implementation of Tribunal’s award saying it will infringe its rights.

The guidelines set by the Tribunal virtually give sweeping powers to the Government of India or any body set up by the Centre to monitor the release of water to lower riparian states as Karnataka will lose the supervisory control of all four Cauvery basin reservoirs — the Krishnarajasagar, the Hemavathi, Kabini and the Harangi reservoirs.

If the guidelines are accepted, “Karnataka would not be able to exercise the option to release water to Tamil Nadu only after it has sufficient storage in the reservoirs, particularly in the years of distress,” said an official from Karnataka Government.
The Supervisory Committee was constituted to implement the Cauvery Tribunal Final Award till the Cauvery Management Board was set up.

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