Cauvery panel fails to decide quantum of water release to Tamil Nadu

Earlier in the day, the SC had asked Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs Cauvery water per day till September 20.

New Delhi: The Cauvery Supervisory Committee on Monday failed to arrive at a decision on quantum of water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states pursuant to the Supreme Court order and decided to meet again on September 19.

Union Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shekhar, who chaired the meeting, said the Committee could not arrived at a decision for the want of "adequate" information.

He said the states concerned could not produce adequate information relating to withdrawal of water, its utilisation, allegations of withdrawal when it was not permitted, variation in rainfall and its impact on the actual run-off over a period spanning 29 years.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs Cauvery water per day, down from previous 15,000 cusecs, to Tamil Nadu till September 20.

"...since the time given by the honourable (Supreme) Court was so limited...they could not bring all information. The Committee did not want to pass any order which is not backed by supportive data.

"So, the Committee has fixed another date, that is on September 19, because the Supreme Court has today given a date for next hearing on September 20," Shekhar told reporters after the meeting.

He added that the Committee, which met in Delhi after Supreme Court asked Tamil Nadu to approach the panel in its order on September 5, has asked the states involved to give information sought by September 15.

He further said Chief Secretaries of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka did not agree over figures relating to release of water during the meeting.

"As we were discussing and trying to reach a figure which would be acceptable to both the states, which were also based on scientific facts, we found that the Supreme Court had given another interim order today. So, we will meet again," he said.

Meanwhile, the Committee, has decided to set up a network for data collection which will send real-time online data to the four states involved- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala.

"We have decided today as to what should be the protocol, methodology of the data collection. How can we make it completely online so that the data can seamlessly move to all the four states on real-time basis and there is no dispute on data collection," he said.

Noting the Cauvery tribunal has not discussed the water distribution for distress situation until now, Shekhar said the Committee should "hold discussion on it sometime".

"All the four states will need to discuss what should be the distress situation. If we arrive at a consensus on that, we will make that a basis for discussion when there is less rainfall and how we can achieve proportionate share then. This (distress) situation is arising regularly," he said.

P Rama Mohana Rao, Arvind Jadhav, and Manoj Parida, Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Puducherry respectively attended the meeting along with senior officials from Kerala, Central Water Commission and Union Water Resources Ministry.

Tension prevailed in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on Monday as protests turned violent on Monday with agitators attacking shops and setting vehicles afire. 20 buses were set on fire in a Bengaluru depot, and incidents of arson and stone-pelting were reported from several places in Karnataka.

Schools have been shut and no Karnataka buses are plying to Tamil Nadu. Section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru and an emergency meeting has been called by CM Siddaramaiah on Tuesday morning, who has appealed to protestors to be peaceful.

( Source : PTI )
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