Karnataka finally nominates member to Cauvery panel

Karnataka finally nominates member to Cauvery panel

Bengaluru: As Karnataka has no option but to nominate a representative to the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), the State Government has yesterday decided to do it with a request to the Centre to hear its views.

Principal Secretary (Water Resources) Rakesh Singh will represent Karnataka on the Cauvery Water Management Authority, the apex body which will have its office in New Delhi, and Managing Director of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam H.R. Prasanna Kumar to the CWRC, headquartered in Bengaluru.

Both nominations will be made as the Supreme Court has ordered their constitution, but with Karnataka lodging its protest at not being heard.

The Centre on June 22 constituted a nine-member Cauvery Water Management Authority and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee three weeks after notifying the Cauvery scheme endorsed by the Supreme Court.

Karnataka had earlier failed to nominate a representative to the committee which has members from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry.

The Centre has nominated Central Water Commission (CWC) Chairman S. Masood Husain as chairman of the authority, and CWC Irrigation Management Organisation chief engineer Navin Kumar as member of the authority. Kumar will also be the Chairman of Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, the technical panel mandated to ensure annual release of 177.25 tmcft of water to TN as per the tribunal award.

“We are planning to have the first meeting in CWC headquarters in New Delhi in the first week of July. It will be a meeting to discuss preparatory work,” said a senior Water Resources Ministry official.

Officials said the authority will issue directions to release water based on the Bengaluru-headquartered committee collecting data of water level, inflows and storage position in each of the eight reservoirs across Cauvery, Hemavathy, Harangi, Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini (in Karnataka) and Mettur, Bhavanisagar and Amaravathy (in Tamil Nadu) and Banasurasagar (Kerala). The committee, the technical arm of the authority, will ensure 10 daily releases of water on monthly basis.

Centre’s guidelines has inaccuracies: CM

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has said that the guidelines drawn by the Centre in formulating Cauvery River Water Regulation Committee and Authority are not acceptable and they need to be corrected.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of pre-Budget meeting with various Departments here yesterday, Kumaraswamy said the Centre had announced the formation of the Committee and had done its work following court directions.

“But we have already appealed to the Centre about some ‘mistakes’ in forming the guidelines of the Authority which was against the interests of the higher riparian State of Karnataka. The technical problem in implementation of the water sharing formula has not been addressed by the Centre and the ‘mistakes’ in guidelines needs to be corrected,” he said.

”In the backdrop of correcting these mistakes, we have approached the Centre. However, we have no objection to formation of the Authority. We are a law-abiding State but this should not be construed as our weakness. I will again write a letter to the Centre to correct those mistakes in the guidelines,” he stated.

He, however, said that the appointment of the committee and the authority was under the Court directions and there was ‘remote chance’ of changing it. But Karnataka will explore all issues that run against the interest of the State legally and politically.

June 24, 2018

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