The Cauvery Supervisory Committee will strictly adhere to the final order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) while deciding on the quantum of the river’s water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states as directed by the Supreme Court, a senior official has said.
The Committee, headed by Union Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shekhar, will meet tomorrow to decide on the quantum of Cauvery water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states.
The statement from the official comes in the wake of Karnataka requesting the Centre to send an experts’ team to inspect “realities” in Cauvery basin before the Committee passes its order.
“We cannot send an inspection team there as that is not part of the SC order. It has specifically said that the Committee has to follow the language of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). So, the Committee will have to go by the letter and spirit of the SC order,” the official said.
In an interim order on September 5, the apex court had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily for next 10 days to Tamil Nadu, leading to protests in parts of Karnataka.
The court had also directed Tamil Nadu to approach the Supervisory Committee, set up to implement award of CWDT, within three days for the release of Cauvery water as per the final order of Tribunal.
Expressing concern over the decision, the Karnataka government had on September 7 written to Union Water Resources Ministry, saying drinking water needs are likely to be “jeopardised” if water is released as directed by Supreme Court from the four reservoirs in the state.
In the letter, Karnataka also rued that Supreme Court’s order would have been “different” if a report of experts on “ground realities” in the state was made available to it before it gave the interim order.
“The matter can be resolved in the long-run until Cauvery Management Board is set up (as suggested by CWDT). But until then, we can not go beyond the orders of Supreme Court,” the official said.
Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry besides officials of Central Water Commission will attend the meeting of the Committee.
The apex court will hear the matter again on September 16.