The Cauvery Water Management Authority, which held its first meeting on Monday amidst reports of Karntaka planning to appeal in the Supreme Court against its formation, directed Karnataka to release about 31 tmcft water to Tamil Nadu in July.
“The quantum of water which has been in the tribunal award after adjusting whatever has been the surplus in the month of June that would be released by Karnataka,” Central Water Commission (CWC) and CWMA Chairman S. Masood Husain told reporters after the meeting.
As per the tribunal’s order, the tentative monthly deliveries during a normal year indicate 34 tmcft water to be released to Tamil Nadu in July. Officials at CWC inform that the excess water received by Tamil Nadu in June due to good monsoon was excess by more than 3 tmcft.
Husain said the first meeting of the authority was held in a “cordial atmosphere” and it marked a historic moment after a long period of litigation. The meeting was attended by all four party states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
In the nine-member CWMA chaired by CWC Chairman, Karnataka is represented by its Principal Secretary, Water Resources, Rakesh Singh and Tamil Nadu government by Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, S.K. Prabakar. Kerala Water Resources Secretary Tinku Biswal and Puducherry Development Commissioner-cum-PWD Secretary A. Anbarasu were also present.
On whether Karnataka will follow the CWMA’s direction, Husain said he is hopeful that all party states will cooperate in the implementation of the tribunal award. Going by the deliberation at the meeting on Monday, he said he is fully confident about the award’s implementation.
“This is the decision of the authority and as the monsoon has been normal, we hope the reservoirs in Karnataka would be receiving the normal inflow and we hope that Karnataka would be able to release this amount. I do not see any lack of cooperation from any side,” he said.
The meeting discussed rules of business, required staff and structure, infrastructure like offices, format for maintaining data like inflow, outflow, withdrawals, cropping pattern, implementation status of the tribunal’s award for June and realisation at Biligundlu site on inter-state border.
“The authority directed Karnataka to ensure the balance quantity for July 2018 at Biligundlu adjusting the excess quantity of water realised by Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu in June 2018 subject to the assessment and recommendation by the regulation committee.” the Chairman said.
In case of Puducherry, the authority directed that the existing arrangement for the supply of water to Puducherry by Tamil Nadu will continue. The authority unanimously decided to request CWC for a proposal to set up the communication network to assess hydrological conditions.
While the authority is yet to decide the date for its next meeting, the Cauvery Water Regulation Commitee (CWRC) will meet on Thursday (July 5) to look into whatever the mandate it has been assigned and the issues referred to the committee by the authority.
Husain said that as per the gazette notification, the office of the authority will be establised in Delhi and for this the authroity has planned to approach the Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry for a separate office for the authority.
“This was the first meeting and we were more focussed on making the rules of business. Considering the states’ spirit of cooperation at the meeting, I believe a new era of water cooperation has started in the country,” he said.