Karnataka hasn’t disclosed schemes to Tribunal, says plea in SC

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday moved the Supreme Court to restrain Karnataka from proceeding with its proposed modernisation projects in the Cauvery basin which are not permitted by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).

In its application, Tamil Nadu, quoting a report in the Bangalore edition of the The Hindu dated February 12, 2014, said modernisation works of the Ramaswamy Canal in Srirangapatna in Mandya, the Rampura Canal in Chamarajnagar district, the Visvesvaraya Canal in Mandya and the Kabini Right Bank Canal had been cleared.

The estimated cost was more than Rs. 330 crore.

Subsequently, tenders were issued for taking up various schemes for impounding water in the tanks in the guise of drinking water supply to villages.

Tamil Nadu said its Chief Secretary on March 17 wrote to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka saying these schemes had not been disclosed to the CWDT and did not form part of the Tribunal’s final order.

By taking up the schemes, Karnataka would impound flows in its tanks, resulting in reduction in flows in the Cauvery “to the detriment of Tamil Nadu.”

The Chief Secretary said any new scheme should be taken up only with the consent of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the lower riparian States.

The Centre was requested to advise Karnataka to furnish full information and details of these schemes to Tamil Nadu and also to withhold the tenders called for by the Cauvery Neervari Nigama Limited until after the issues were settled and the CMB was formed.

But, Tamil Nadu said, it had not received any reply from either Karnataka or the Centre.

Stressing the imminent need for setting up the CMB as Karnataka was “openly flouting” the Tribunal’s final order, it sought a direction to restrain Karnataka from taking up these projects.