Cauvery water release to farmers under Authority watch

Cauvery water release to farmers under Authority watch

Karnataka will not be able to release Cauvery water to its farmers as it pleases in future as the Cauvery Water Management Authority will regularly monitor it.

According to the authority, notified by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, “The authority shall ensure that the respective state governments construct proper hydraulic structures at all important anicut sites in the river basin with a provision for appropriate regulation mechanisms. Besides, regular monitoring of the withdrawals at such diversion structures on the part of the state would be necessary.”

The authority will also ask the states to furnish carry-over storage details in reservoirs, including inflows and outflows, rainfall data, the area irrigated and water utilised, said the notification. “Karnataka used to supply Cauvery water to its farmers without the permission of the Union government. In future, Karnataka will not enjoy that privilege,” said an official in the Ministry of Water Resources.
Besides, the authority or any member or any representative can enter any land or property where a hydraulic structure or any work of gauging or measuring device exists or is being operated or maintained by any agency in the Cauvery basin.

The gazette notification also says that the authority will have the power to hold and dispose of property, enter into contracts, sue and be sued and do all such acts as may be necessary for the proper exercise and discharge of its jurisdiction, powers and functions.

Every basin state will have to follow the directions of the authority. If any states fail to cooperate in implementing the decision or direction of the tribunal, it can seek the help of the Union government for implementation of the award, the notification said. Further, if any delay or shortfall is caused in the release of water on account of default of any party state, the authority will take appropriate action.

The authority will monitor storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters. It will also supervise the operation of reservoirs and with the assistance of the regulation committee, and look at the regulated release of water by Karnataka at Biligundlu gauge. The notification further said that the authority at the beginning of the water year (June 1 each year) would determine the total residual storage in the specified reservoirs.