State to move Supreme Court against Cauvery panels

State to move Supreme Court against Cauvery panels

Karnataka has decided to file an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC).

The decision was taken at an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday.

“The CWMA and the CWRC were formed without taking the state’s objections into consideration. It was done in a hurry. It was done without giving an option for Parliament to discuss the issue. The government will file an appeal after obtaining advice from our legal team,” Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar told reporters.

When and how the appeal will be filed and other modalities will be worked out by the state’s legal team, which includes senior advocates Fali S Nariman and Mohan V Katarki, Shivakumar said.

It was also decided that the state will allow Water Resources Secretary Rakesh Singh and Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited Managing Director H L Prasanna to attend the first CWMA meeting scheduled for July 2. “Initially, we refused to nominate our representatives. But we did so under protest. And now, it’ll be wrong on our part if we don’t send our representatives for the meeting. They will present our government’s stand in the meeting,” Shivakumar said.

The minister also said that all 40 Parliamentarians representing Karnataka in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha  have unanimously agreed to raise the issue inside and outside Parliament.

Karnataka has argued that allowing the CWMA to operate reservoirs and examining cropping pattern were against its interests.

Also, allowing the CWRC to gauge water every 10 days and regulate release of water to canals infringed on its rights, the state argued.

According to a senior water resources official, Karnataka’s initial demand was to set up a distress redressal authority that will be activated only when any one of the states acted in an unexpected manner. “However, the Centre has notified a permanent institution in the form of CWMA,” the officer said.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda, former union ministers M Veerappa Moily, K H Muniyappa and Cauvery basin leaders cutting across party lines attended the meeting.