Formation of Cauvery Experts Group: State to consult Fali S. Nariman
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Formation of Cauvery Experts Group: State to consult Fali S. Nariman

May 10, 2017

Bengaluru: An all-party meeting, convened by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah to discuss the Centre’s proposal of forming a ‘group of experts’ on distress sharing of Cauvery river water, yesterday decided to consult noted Jurist Fali S. Nariman on the issue. Nariman heads the legal team for Karnataka on Cauvery issue.

On Feb. 2, the Secretary to the Union Water Resources Ministry had communicated to the State on the Centre’s proposal to constitute an experts group on Cauvery basin management and had sought its opinion on the same.

The communication stated that constitution of the group is necessitated as the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal does not provide a specific formula for sharing of Cauvery water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu during distress years. It was felt that the group could address the issue.

“We have discussed the various pros and cons of the proposal of forming a group of experts and the Special Leave Petition (SLP) pending before the Supreme Court which is coming up for hearing. Based on all these factors, we have discussed (the issue),” Water Resource Minister M.B. Patil told reporters here yesterday. “It was a unanimous decision that all opinions expressed in the meeting should be placed before Nariman and take a decision,” he said.

The all-party meeting was attended by State Home Minister Dr. G. Parameshwara, Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar and JD(S) leaders Basavaraj Horatti and H.D. Revanna, among others.

Patil said that he is planning to meet Nariman next week. Siddharamaiah said he will also consult former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on the issue.

Advocate General Madhusudhan Naik is said to have told the meeting that the State should give its go ahead for constitution of the group.

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According to the proposal of the Water Resources Ministry, the group will identify and document key factors like water availability and demands in various scenarios and also suggest a permanent institutional mechanism for resolving the inter-State water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Shettar told reporters that the advantages and disadvantages of constituting the group of experts should be looked into, in consultation with Nariman. He said, “We have given the Chief Minister the authority to consult Nariman and a legal team and to take a decision based on their opinion.”

Asked about the present water situation in the Cauvery river basin, Minister Patil said, “As we had said, we have water till June 30. We will be able to give water to Bengaluru, Mysuru and nearby villages and towns till June 30.”

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