Draft Cabinet notes circulated on Cauvery Board, Mullaperiyar

Moving expeditiously on the water-related demands raised by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa during her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, the Union Water Resources Ministry on Wednesday circulated two draft Cabinet notes to ministries concerned.

After approval from the related departments, the proposals relating to the Cauvery Board and the Mullaperiyar dam will be placed in the Union Cabinet next week for its nod.

One of the draft notes is about setting up a Cauvery Management Board to ensure the implementation of the award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on water sharing among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

Initially, Karnataka had objected to the formation of a board on the ground that appeals on the award were pending before the Supreme Court. Later it agreed to it, subject to the outcome of the appeals.

The second draft note is to give effect to the order of the Supreme Court on raising the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 to 142 feet as demanded by the Tamil Nadu government.

The apex court has ordered appointment of a supervisory committee to be headed by the chairperson of the Central Water Commission with representatives from Tamil Nadu and Kerala as members to monitor the raising of the water level.

On Karnataka releasing the Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu in a water year (June-May), well-placed sources told The Hindu that between June 2013 and May 2014, the water flows measured at Biligundlu were 260 tmcft as against 192 tmcft prescribed in the final award.

Positive development: farmers’ association

L. Renganathan reports from Chennai:

Reacting to the Union Water Resources Ministry’s move, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association Mannargudi S. Ranganathan said the swift response by Mr. Modi to Ms. Jayalalithaa’s request would be appreciated by all farmers in Tamil Nadu. “This is a very positive development and we thank both Ms. Jayalalithaa and Mr. Modi for the prompt response and instantaneous-yet considered action,” he said.

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