Notify Cauvery tribunal award by Feb 20, Supreme Court directs Centre
The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to notify the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award by February 20.
Slamming the UPA govt, the apex court saud, "The Centre has flouted rules by not notifying the Tribunal's award in the last five years." The court directed the centre to publish the award in the gazette as early as possible, but in no case later than Feb 20, 2013.
The court brushed aside the Centre's plea that it does not want to take any unilateral decision and wanted to evolve a consensus between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu before publishing the award.
The court directed the release of 2 TMC feet of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
It directed the Central Water Commission to file a report within two days on water requirements of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The court also directed the chairman of the Central Water Commission to constitute a three-member expert committee to visit the Cauvery Delta Basin to make an assessment of standing crops in Tamil Nadu.
The apex court bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said the committee would submit its report to the court by Wednesday and the same would be taken up for consideration and hearing next day.
In the meantime, the court said, irrespective of the expert committee report, Tamil Nadu will release two TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of water from Mettur reservoir which in turn will be replenished by Karnataka from its Cauvery water.
Tamil Nadu has sought nine TMC of water for its standing crops spread over six lakh hectares of land. It said that one-third of the crops spread over nine lakh hectares of land had perished due to drought, and the remaining crop over six lakh hectares of land needs to be irrigated twice to save it.
However, Karnataka contended that 40 per cent of standing crops had already been harvested, and the remaining sixty per cent was about to be harvested. Thus, Tamil Nadu needs no water for irrigating standing crops.
- Asian Tribune -