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SC moved to form Cauvery Management Board

J. Venkatesan
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So that the final order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal can be effectively implemented

AN APOLOGY FOR RIVER: The Cauvery river in the Delta waiting to shed its dryness.
AN APOLOGY FOR RIVER: The Cauvery river in the Delta waiting to shed its dryness.

Contending that the setting up of a supervisory committee had become a futile exercise, the Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court for a direction to the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board forthwith for the effective implementation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

In a fresh application Tamil Nadu said the court on May 10 had directed the Centre to constitute a pro-tem Supervisory Committee consisting of officials of the Water Resources Ministry and of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry for the purpose of ensuring the implementation the final order.

The Centre notified the formation of the committee on May 22.

At the first meeting of the Supervisory Committee on June 1, Karnataka raised several issues, which could not be raised, as the said Committee had been formed merely to enforce the final decision rendered by the Tribunal. Karnataka was thus attempting to get over the binding adjudication and avoid the implementation of the final order in letter and spirit.

The application said, “Karnataka, on the one hand, suggested the formation of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee and, on the other hand, is objecting to the framing/adoption of the guidelines given by the Tribunal for the Cauvery Management Board, by the Supervisory Committee for implementation of the final order.”

At the next meeting, on June 12, Karnataka filed detailed submissions which would virtually result in the non-implementation of the final order. “The pro tem Supervisory Committee for the implementation of the final order was formed following Karnataka’s suggestion. However, its stand that it is not properly formed and it cannot take decisions, clearly demonstrates that Karnataka is not willing to share water with Tamil Nadu and that it will continue its defiant attitude of not implementing the binding adjudication of the Tribunal. Thus, the said stand of Karnataka virtually rendered the entire exercise futile, compelling Tamil Nadu to move this court for the immediate constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.”

It further said, “The action of Karnataka is clearly an abuse of process of law and amounts to contempt of this court’s order dated May 10 for which a separate petition is being filed by the petitioner.”

The application said, “The storage in Karnataka reservoirs has increased from about 14 tmcft, recorded on June 10, to 36 tmcft, as on June 24, an increase of 22 tmcft.”

Hence, Tamil Nadu sought a direction to Karnataka to immediately release 10 tmcft of water due to Tamil Nadu for the month of June and thereafter release 10 day flows/monthly flows in the subsequent months as per the final order of the Tribunal; and to direct Karnataka to release 53.18 tmcft., being the shortfall at Mettur Reservoir for the water year 2012-2013 as computed on the pro rata sharing formula by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee, prior to utilising the water in the current irrigation year 2013–2014, in addition to the flows due to State of Tamil Nadu during the current water year 2013–14.

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