State to express inability to honour Cauvery award

State to express inability to honour Cauvery award

State to express inability to honour Cauvery award

The State government will submit before the Cauvery Supervisory Committee meeting in New Delhi on June 12 that Karnataka is not in a position to release 134 tmc ft of water to Tamil Nadu between June and September, as specified in the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

The government would instead seek downward revision of the quantum of water.

The State would submit before the committee, headed by the Union water resources secretary, that the quantum of water be scaled down to 97.82 tmc ft in view of deficient rainfall and poor inflow into the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin.

The decision was taken at a meeting of floor leaders of two Houses of the Legislature to discuss the State’s response to the committee and ways to handle water-sharing during the “distress” period between June and September. The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bangalore on Thursday.

Making a statement in the Assembly later in the day, Siddaramaiah said: “It is not possible to release Tamil Nadu’s share according to the final award as our farmers very much need water during this four-month period.”

‘Reservoirs empty’

Siddaramaiah said there was no water in the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin to the extent marked by the final award. The chief minister said it was stated in the 2007 award of the inter-state Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal that after five years, amendments could be made by reviewing the quantum of water to be released every month. “As five years have elapsed (since the final award was delivered), we will make our submission for revision,” he said.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that 134 tmc ft storage could not be achieved during June-September in the last five years and official records on rainfall would be submitted before the panel. The first meeting of the Supervisory Committee was held on June 1 wherein Tamil Nadu demanded its share of water for June as stipulated in the award.

The supervisory committee is an off-shoot of the temporary Cauvery Water (Implementation of the Order of 2007) Scheme, 2013, notified by the Centre last month. This scheme is a temporary arrangement until the permanent Cauvery Management Board, as recommended by the Cauvery tribunal order, is constituted.

Siddaramaiah said the State would file its response regarding the seven agendas listed for the June 12 supervisory committee meeting, including formulation of guidelines and rules for the panel, after consulting legal experts.

The meeting was attended by former chief ministers B S Yeddyurappa, Jagadish Shettar, D V Sadananda Gowda, H D Kumaraswamy, Water Resources Minister M B Patil and former minister Basavaraj Bommai among others.