Expert committee to process State's case
To file petition in Supreme CourtConsensus on stir for State's rights
Thiruvananthapuram: The State Government has decided to challenge the Cauvery Tribunal award. It will file a petition before the tribunal seeking clarification on its award relating to Kerala's share in the river water meant for Kuttiyadi augmentation project, besides moving the Supreme Court against a few other award provisions that ignored the State's valid demands.
A decision to this effect was taken at a conference of experts convened by Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran here on Friday to evolve a plan of action to safeguard Kerala's interest consequent to the award.
The meeting also set up a nine-member expert committee to process Kerala's case on the Cauvery waters and submit a written document within 10 days.Addressing a press conference soon after the meeting,
Mr. Premachandran said the State Government proposed to file a petition seeking the tribunal's clarification on the 5 tmc water for the Kuttiyadi augmentation project. The tribunal's final award was silent about the 5 tmc of water for Kuttiyadi augmentation and Banasurasagar projects.
Kerala has been receiving 5 tmc of water for the augmentation scheme much before the advent of the tribunal. Besides, the Tribunal Assessors' Committee had stated that 5 tmc of water for Kuttiyadi was permissible. There had been no objection to the project right from the beginning. But the final award was ambiguous about this aspect, throwing a big question mark on the project.
He said Kuttiyadi project was very important for Kerala because its water from Peruvannammozhi reservoir was used for drinking water supply in Kozhikode.
The tribunal had also done away with inter-basin transfer contrary to the practice adopted in the Godavari, Krishna and Narmada river water sharing formula. As a result, the State would lose 30 tmc of water that would undermine the Mananthavady (16 tmc) and Kerala Bhavani (14 tmc) diversion projects.
If the tribunal's inter-basin transfer norm were to be applied uniformly, then all bilateral agreements between States would become void. The norm could be interpreted to make supply of water under the Siruvani project void, he said.
Since inter-linking of rivers had been approved as a national policy, the tribunal's award on inter-basin transfers was irrelevant, he said.
Mr. Premachandran said the tribunal was silent about the Mukkali weir Kerala had wanted to construct across the Bhavanipuzha. The Minister said the meeting had arrived at a consensus that Kerala should agitate for its legitimate rights.