Chennai: Amid a tussle with neighbouring Karnataka over the balancing reservoir cum drinking water project across Cauvery River at Mekedatu, the Tamil Nadu government has moved the Supreme Court seeking the appointment of an “independent person” as chairman of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA).
The move comes two days after the state Assembly condemned the Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman, who also holds additional charge as CWMA head, for giving Karnataka the permission to prepare detailed project report (DPR) for the Mekadatu project.
Currently, S. Masood Husain is the chairman of the CWC, and he is holding additional charge of chairman of the CWMA.
This is the third time TN is approaching the Supreme Court after the state filed a petition seeking to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with the preparation of the DPR. TN had moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to enable the appointment of an independent person as chairman and full-time members for the Cauvery Water Management Authority.
The petition was filed on Friday.
In its petition, the government sought the court to issue appropriate directions to the Union ministry of water resources to appoint an independent person as chairman and pointed out that the CWMA was constituted six months ago, but has still not been established in a full-fledged manner.
“The present chairman of the CWMA is only holding an additional charge besides being the chairman of the Central Water Commission and is likely to be influenced by the decisions taken by the authorities functioning under the CWC,” the said. It also mentioned that there is likelihood of “conflict of interest” in the discharge of dual function by the chairman of the CWC.
Also, the petition stated that the second meeting of the CWMA on Dec. 3 had the Mekedatu reservoir in the agenda but “it was stated in the meeting that the agenda item pertaining to Mekedatu was only sent for information and the same was not being deliberated.”