State wants Centre to drop Cauvery board plan

State wants Centre to drop Cauvery board plan

State wants Centre to drop Cauvery board plan

The State government will move the Centre to immediately drop its decision to constitute a Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB) for supervising the sharing of Cauvery water among the river basin states, as the civil appeals against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal final award were still pending before the Supreme Court.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore on Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said there was no need to constitute the Board as a supervisory committee headed by Union Water Resources Secretary was already monitoring water release from Cauvery on a regular basis.

He said the State had always been opposing the constitution of CMB, which has powers, including taking control of the Cauvery basin reservoirs and regulate the release of water for irrigation.

Pending application

Siddaramaiah said another application by Tamil Nadu seeking the constitution of the board was also pending before the Supreme Court. The apex court had merged the application with the civil appeals, he pointed out.

The chief minister said he had called a meeting of the floor leaders in the State legislature on June 9 to discuss the issue threadbare in Bangalore.

On June 10, a delegation comprising Members of Parliament from the State and will meet Prime minister Narendra Modi to register its opposition to the constitution of the board.

The four Union ministers from the State – D V Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, G M Siddeshwara and Venkaiah Naidu – would be requested to join the delegation.

Siddaramaiah said he was surprised to read in the newspapers on Friday that the Union Water Resources Ministry had drafted a Cabinet note on constituting the CMB.

“During my meeting with Modi in New Delhi, I had expressed the State’s opposition to the setting up of the board. Today, I read in the newspapers that the Centre is taking steps to meet the demands of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha after her meeting the prime minister,” Siddaramaiah said.

Tamil Nadu has been demanding the constitution of the board.

The chief minister said he had already written to the four Union ministers requesting them to take steps to protect the interests of the State. Siddaramaiah said the setting up of the CMB would adversely affect supply of drinking water to Bangalore.

To a query whether the issue was taking political colours, Siddaramaiah replied in the negative.

Water Resources Minister M B Patil said the government would discuss the issue with its legal and technical teams.