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Cauvery Tribunal decision on expert panel on May 10

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 5: The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) is expected to give its verdict tomorrow on its earlier order directing the Centre to appoint a three-member expert committee to go into the cropping pattern and water requirements of the riparian states.

The CWDT, after considering submissions and views of the four riparian states-- Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry-- in its April 21 order had stated that it would pronounce its order on May 10.

The April 21 order saw CWDT chairman N P Singh and its two members, N S Rao and Sudheer Narain, issuing two separate orders.

The riparian states had urged the CWDT not to enforce its two-member order seeking for constitution of the expert panel as it would result in indefinite delay of the proceedings of the tribunal.

The tribunal was set up 16 years ago under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956.

The CWDT has issued an interim order asking Karnataka to release 205 TMC of water a year. Tamil Nadu wants the upper riparian state to follow weekly and monthly release quota. However, Karnataka contends that it is not a practical proposition and wants the order to be on an annual basis.

The other issue that the parties are expecting the CWDT to clarify in its order is about the quantum of flow in the river. The order specifies that Karnataka should ensure 205 TMC at Mettur. But Karnataka wants this point should be at Biligundlu about 40 KM before Mettur, the last Cauvery point.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has its measuring station monitoring the flows in the river. However, the measurement of the CWC and the Mettur inflow have seldom matched resulting in crossing of swords between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the principal contending parties in the century-old dispute.

The other issue that is keenly watched is if the Tribunal would fix any ceiling for declaring the extent of command area in Tamil Nadu. Karnataka has been prohibited from extending irrigation facilities beyond 11.20 lakh acres and there is no such binding on Tamil Nadu.

UNI

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