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Cauvery water management authority tells Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu

According to a Supreme Court order on February 16, Karnataka needs to release 177.25 TMC to TN. The court had reduced the latter’s share from 192 TMC as ordained by the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2018 22:58 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Cauvery water management authority,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu
Cauvery river flowing through Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu. (PTI File Photo)

In the first meeting after its notification last month, the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) has asked Karnataka to release 31.24 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) water to Tamil Nadu in July.

According to a Supreme Court order on February 16, Karnataka needs to release 177.25 TMC to TN. The court had reduced the latter’s share from 192 TMC as ordained by the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.

S Masood Hussain, CWMA chairman, said it has asked Karnataka to release the balance water after adjusting the surplus released in June. TN, on the other hand, has been asked to continue supplying water to Puducherry. Representatives of TN, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry attended the meeting along with representatives from Centre. The meeting was headed by Hussain, who is chairman of the Central Water Commission and has been been given the charge of chairman of CWMA as well.

The authority’s order came after Karnataka had made public its objection to the composition of CWMA on June 30. In an all-party meeting, BJP, Congress and JD(S) had given the state government the green signal to approach SC challenging the formation of Cauvery Management Committee and the Cauvery Regulatory Authority by the Centre.

Although Hussain said the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere, officials privy to the meeting said Karnataka raised objections about the distribution of water and is wary of “outside” interference in the distribution.

However, a good monsoon has started filling reservoirs in the Cauvery, Tungabhadra and Krishna river basins, ensuring water for drinking and irrigation.

“The quantum of water which had been there in the tribunal award after adjusting whatever had been the surplus in the month of June, that would be released by Karnataka,” Hussain said after the meeting.

Karnataka irrigation minister DK Shivakumar said, “We have not received any orders from the authority. They have requested us to release and we will take a call when the order comes.”

The authority also considered requesting the Central Water Commission to submit a proposal for setting up communication network to assess hydrological conditions, Hussain said, adding the meeting also addressed the authority’s budget and the issue of setting up of a permanent office for the authority, which was constituted on June 1 as per the Supreme Court directions.

Reports from Karnataka have suggested that the state government earlier called the Centre’s decision to notify the constitution of CWMA and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) as “unilateral” and have objections about their formation.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday welcomed the decision to release 31.24 TMC of water for Tamil Nadu during the month of July. “This order is a milestone and it is good news for Tamil Nadu. The CWMA had also promised to meet once in 10 days and will be periodically releasing the due water for Tamil Nadu,” he said in a statement.

The state for the month of June should get 9.19 TMC water and the Cauvery inflow in to the Mettur dam is encouraging, the CM said. Tamil Nadu will ensure that its total due of 177.25 TMC of water as promised by the Supreme Court is realised through the CWMA. Palaniswami further said that if required, Tamil Nadu will also convene an all party meeting to address the Cauvery issues.

First Published: Jul 02, 2018 22:57 IST