Union Water Resource Minister Harish Rawat is said to have informed a Tamil Nadu Congress MP that the final award of the Cauvery Waters’ Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) might be published in the official gazette after getting nod from the Law Ministry and placing before the Cabinet in a week’s time.
The Minister told this to K.S. Alagiri (Cuddalore) when the latter called on Mr. Rawat to urge immediate notification of the tribunal’s award as the paddy fields in the State were going dry without Cauvery water thus greatly affecting the ongoing Samba cultivation.
According to Mr. Alagiri, the Minister told him that the file on the subject, which was sent to the Law Ministry, was likely to reach Water Resource Ministry in a day or two.
Thereafter, it would be placed before the Cabinet for its nod. After doing so, the final award would be published.
The Law Ministry had already clarified that the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956, would not prevent the Centre from notifying it despite the pending petitions in the Supreme Court.
While Karnataka is strongly opposing the notification of the final award, Tamil Nadu is fighting for its immediate publication.
CWDT in its final award ordered Tamil Nadu to get 419 tmc feet of water (as against the demand of 562 tmc feet), Karnataka 270 tmc feet (as against its demand of 465 tmc feet), Kerala 30 tmc feet, and Puducherry 7 tmc feet. It had reserved 10 tmc feet of water for environmental protection.
The CWDT’s award would come into effect within 90 days of its publication in the gazette.
After the issuance of the notification, institutions like the Cauvery River Authority and the Cauvery Monitoring Committee would be wound up and instead the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, consisting of the riparian States’ representatives and the officials of the agriculture and irrigation department, would come into existence.