State submits memorandum to Prime Minister
Karnataka on Tuesday opposed Tamil Nadu’s demand for constitution of a Cauvery management board (CMB) and demanded an immediate meeting of the existing supervisory committee headed by the Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources.
In a nine-page memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, after a meeting of all Floor Leaders of the State legislature, MPs and Union Ministers from Karnataka chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the State government said, “The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) has not directed for the constitution of the CMB, but has only made recommendations as clarified in the report which is not a part of the published final order and decision of the tribunal.”
The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda was among those who attended the meeting.
The State said, “The CMB will unduly infringe upon the authority of Karnataka to use even its allocated share of water. How and in what manner Karnataka utilises its share of water is none of the concern of Tamil Nadu, as long as Karnataka ensures 192 tmcft at the inter-State border at Biligundulu in a normal year,” the memorandum said.
The appeals on the tribunal award on water sharing among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry were pending before the Supreme Court. “The insistence of Tamil Nadu to set up the CMB is unjustified,” the Chief Minister said.
Tamil Nadu has filed an interlocutory application (IA) in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre on constitution of the board. However, the Supreme Court said that IA may be heard along with civil appeals which were pending before it.
“In any case, no mandate to constitute the CMB could have been issued to the Central government by the CWDT, since the Central government was not a party to the water dispute before the tribunal,” he said.
Karnataka has scrupulously followed the direction of the supervisory committee constituted till date — for instance in 2013, it delivered 260 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu at Biligundulu, more than 192 tmcft stipulated by the CWDT, the Chief Minister said.
The State demanded an immediate meeting of the supervisory committee headed by the Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, including chief secretaries of respective States as members, which can take stock of the situation and issue appropriate directions.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “We request you to await the final decision of the Supreme Court in the civil appeals before any consideration with regard to the constitution of the CMB is taken by the Central government.”