Centre to notify final award of tribunal by month-end

The Union government will notify the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, announced in 2007, by the end of the month, Chairman of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) and Water Resources Secretary D.V. Singh told the committee members here on Friday. This was as per the orders of the Supreme Court, he said.

The meeting asked Karnataka to ensure that Tamil Nadu receives 12 tmcft for December. It also advised both States to be more efficient in using available water.

The meeting was held after the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the panel to meet within the next two days to decide the water requirements of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for the standing crops and “take a decision on that very day.”

Kerala and Puducherry are the other two members of the official-level committee that assists the Cauvery River Authority headed by the Prime Minister.

The six-page order said 12 tmcft would not be enough to save all the crop in Tamil Nadu and would not adversely affect Karnataka.

“Both the States would, after this release, have a shortage of approximately 47 tmcft against their requirements in December,” the CMC said adding that both States should exploit groundwater as well to make up for the shortages.

“This is not an elegant solution, as both States would be dissatisfied. But under the circumstances, it seems to be the only pragmatic solution and the best that can be done,” the order said.

The CMC noted that both the States had less water in their reservoirs than previous years. While Karnataka has 36.30 tmcft against the 10-year average of 53.70 tmcft in its four reservoirs, Tamil Nadu has 17.04 tmcft against a 10-year average of 59.30 tmcft.

While Tamil Nadu sought more water, Karnataka said it did not have sufficient water to meet its own requirements.