After a wait of nine years, the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) met Wednesday at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence in New Delhi, following a request from Tamil Nadu over the state's demand for release of the river's water by Karnataka.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was attended by Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar, Puducherry chief minister N. Rangasamy and Kerala water resources minister PJ Joseph, sources in the Prime Minister's Office told IANS.
"The Tamil Nadu chief minister is at the Prime Minister's residence to attend the CRA meeting. After the meet, she will leave Delhi around 8pm to return to Chennai," a senior leader of Jayalalaithaa's party, AIADMK, said.
"Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy is indisposed and hence the state's water resources minister is attending the meeting on his behalf," an official source said.
According to sources, Jayalalithaa had written to the central government in May seeking a meeting of the CRA.
The state has demanded that Karnataka release water from the Cauvery to save Tamil Nadu's standing crops.
The last meeting of the CRA was held in 2003 when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power at the centre.
The Supreme Court earlier this month expressed its displeasure that the Prime Minister's Office had not fixed a date for the CRA meeting.
Tamil Nadu had made a plea to the apex court for a direction to the central government to convene the CRA to approve a "distress-sharing formula" evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee for sharing the river water, in view of the failure of the monsoon this year.
Karnataka had indicated that it would demand a new formula to share Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu and other states when the monsoon fails.