Also wants Cauvery Water Regulation Committee formed before April last week
The State government on Monday moved the Supreme Court for a direction to the Ministry of Water Resources to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) before April last week to effectively implement the final Order of the Cauvery Tribunal during the ensuing irrigation season commencing from June 1.
In its application, the State said, “The area and the extent of allocation made in the final award in February 2007 amongst the States from the dependable yield of 740 tmcft. determined by the Tribunal are: Kerala, 30 tmcft; Karnataka, 270; Tamil Nadu, 419; Puducherry, 7; water requirement for environmental protection, 10 and inevitable escapages into sea, 4 tmcft. Of this, Karnataka should release every year 192 tmcft to Tamil Nadu”.
It said the Tribunal was of the view that there was a need for setting up an appropriate mechanism and recommended an independent machinery to implement its decision. It recommended the constitution of the CMB and the CWRC with the roles, functions, powers etc. The Central government was mandated to constitute the Board simultaneously with the gazette notification of the final award of the Tribunal dated February 19. It was expected that the Centre would also constitute the CWRC so that the decision of the Tribunal was given effect to, without having to move this court from time to time.
However, this hope was belied necessitating Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to send communications requesting the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Water Resources. Contending that no steps had been taken so far to constitute the Board and the CWRC, the State said it was filing the present application.
Tamil Nadu said the storage in the Mettur reservoir as on March 13 was only about 7 tmcft. Even with the anticipated inflows for March to May, the storage built up in the reservoir would not be adequate to open the reservoir on June 12, as scheduled, for starting cultivation in the age-old delta irrigation catering to a million acres.
It was, therefore, essential to ensure flows as per stipulated releases in the final order so that at least during 2013-14, the irrigation in delta “does not suffer for the second consecutive year which will seriously prejudice the farming community in the delta”.
It sought a direction to the Ministry of Water Resources for constituting the Cauvery Management Board so that the final award was implemented in letter and spirit by all the party States.