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Cauvery Issue – First Meeting of the Supervisory Committee Held

The 1st Meeting of the Supervisory Committee (SC) on Cauvery held here in New Delhi today under the chairmanship Water Resources Secretary Dr. S. K. Sarkar. The meeting was convened inter alia, to establish the procedures for conducting its business  and  was   in  pursuance to the Supreme Court™s direction dated 10th May,2013 wherein the directions have been issued for the constitution of a Supervisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources. Ministry of Water Resources, notified the constitution of proposed Supervisory Committee in the Gazette of India dated 22nd May, 2013 with Chief Secretaries of State Governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory Puducherry as the Members.  In addition, Chairman, Central Water Commission is also one of the Member and Chief Engineer, Central Water Commission as the Member Secretary.

It has been notified that the role of the Committee shall be to give effect to the implementation of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT), order dated 5th February, 2007.  It has also been mentioned in the notification that the Committee shall follow its own procedure for conducting on its business.

The meeting began with the address of  Secretary, M/o Water Resources and the had the following agenda items for discussion.  Chairman, Central Water Commission, in his opening remarks highlighted that the availability of water and the demand are interlinked.  The agricultural sector is the major user of water and the drinking water requirements have to be taken as pre-emptive needs.

Chief Secretary of State Government of Karnataka, while making initial submissions mentioned that they will be submitting their observations on the agenda items in 2–3 days™ time. Chief Secretary, Government of   Tamil Nadu reiterated the need for constitution of the board and mentioned that their observation as regards to rules of business circulated along with the agenda items be taken on record. They have reservations on para 5 and para 8 of the draft rules of business. Further they wanted allocation of water as stipulated in the award for the month of June on pro-rata basis for first 10 day period.  Chief Secretary of Government of Kerala mentioned that they are not able to utilize the limited allocation available to them because they are not able to develop the water resources projects.  Chief Secretary, Government of Puducherry in his initial remarks expressed the need for having the data observation stations near Karaikal region.

The agenda items taken for discussion included.

Agenda 1: Framing the Rules of Business of Supervisory Committee on Cauvery: Under it  the draft Rules of Business of Supervisory Committee on Cauvery were circulated by Central Water Commission along with the agenda items. The same were discussed.  Tamil Nadu requested to immediately withdraw the Rules 5 and 8 of the Draft Rules of Business of Supervisory Committee in Annex 1-1(a) circulated with the Agenda items because they felt that prescribing the quorum and decision by majority vote will amount to traversing beyond the order of the Hon™ble Supreme Court dated 10.5.2013.  Governments of Kerala and Puducherry agreed in principle with the draft Rules of Business.  Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka mentioned that they will be submitting their observations on the draft Rules of Business in two to three days™ time.  Chairman emphasized that the draft Rules of Business are essential for conducting the mandated role of the Committee and assigned functions and also indicated that Supreme Court has already made a mentionthat the Committee will follow its own procedure for conducting of its business.  Keeping in view the above observations on this item, this item was deferred for the next meeting.

Agenda 2:Identification of data observation location (reservoir / G&D site) in Cauvery Basin for the purpose of monitoring of implementation of Clause VIII of order of CWDT: After discussion, the data locations as given below, were finalized and agreed upon, keeping in view the provisions of the Award.

(a)           Karnataka will observe the data at the following reservoir:

Kabini, Haringi, Hemavathy and K.R. Sagar.

(b)           Tamil Nadu will observe the data at Mettur and Amravathi Reservoir.

(c)      ChavadiyoorG&D Site

The Government of Kerala will revive ChavadiyoorG&D site within 15 days™ time.

Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of Kerala have agreed to have joint observation on the revived G&D site at Chavadiyoor.

(d)         CWC will observe the Gauge and discharge data at the following sites:

Billigundulu G&D Site, Gopurajapuram, Annavasal, Nallathur, Menangudi, Porakudi, Peralam, Thengudi.

In addition to the above, the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have agreed to provide the average catchment rainfall for each reservoir as cited above.

Agenda 3:Devising the format of reporting the data for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of clause IX of the award: After discussion, the Governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry agreed with the format, frequency and location (secretariat of the Committee) for transmission of data.  However, the Government of Karnataka mentioned that they will be submitting their views in two to three days™ time.

It has also been decided that all the Member States will send the details of their Nodal Officers with contact nos. and e-mail IDs to the secretariat of the Committee within a week™s time and will provide the data in the required format and frequency to the secretariat.

Daily data will be made available to the secretariat by 1100 hrs daily and 10 daily data will be made available on the last day of the 10 daily block as applicable during a month. The data is to be sent by e mail and by fax.

Agenda 4: Determination of normal year and distress year: Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its order dated 5th February, 2007 as per the Clause XIX has mentioned that a year in which the total  yield of the Cauvery Basin is 740 TMC shall be treated as normal year.  Further, the normal yield of the basin in a water year will be known only at the end of the water year i.e., at the end of the month of May of the next Calendar year.

There is no mention about the criteria for considering the year to be a distress year in the award.  After discussion it was decided that any shortfall from normal yield shall be distributed amongst all the State in proportion to the distress whichis also reflected in the Award.

Agenda 5: Guidelines for the Supervisory Committee for implementation for the order of CWDT: Clause V of CWDT provides for the allocation of water out of the estimated normal yield of 740 TM Cat Coleoroon Anicut.  The Clause also provides for the quantity reserved for environmental protection and inevitable escapages into the sea.

Chapter 8 of volume V of the Award also provides for guidelines for Cauvery Management Board.  Pending constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, such guidelines were discussed and it was decided that these guidelines will be adhered to by the Supervisory Committee.

The Government of Tamil Nadu further reiterated the need for early constitution of the Board for the implementation of the Award.  Chairman emphasized pending constitution of the Board, the guidelines for monitoring the implementation of the Award by the Supervisory Committee have been derived from the Award and will be followed.

Agenda 6: Drinking Water to be made integral part of water demand:

During the discussion, it was emphasized that as per the allocated share by the Tribunal all demands of irrigation, domestic water requirements and industrial water requirements are included in the allocated share.  It was, therefore, suggested that respective State Governments meet the drinking water requirements out of the allocated share as per the Award by giving priority to the domestic water requirement.

Agenda 7: Installation of automatic data observation mechanism in all reservoirs: Central Water Commission emphasized the need for installation of automatic data observation and data transmission system in all the reservoirs where the data is proposed to be collected and transmitted.  The Governments of Karnataka and TamilNadu agreed for such automatic data observation installations.

Concluding Observation / Decision

The Government of Tamil Nadu emphasized on the water requirements for the month of June as stipulated in the Award.

Chairman, Central Water Commission mentioned that the previous water year was a deficit water year and all major reservoirs in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in Cauvery Basin have little storages at the end of the water year 2012-13.  The live storage in all the four  reservoirs in Cauvery basin in Karnataka  as on 31.05.2013 is 3.77TMC and corresponding live storage in Mettur ( Tamil Nadu)  is 3.73 TMC.  As such both the States have almost the same live storages in their reservoir.

Chairman, Central Water Commission mentioned that  the onset of monsoon is expected soon as per the IMD forecast and the actual position on inflows will be known only after the rain begins.

The irrigation water requirement of the Tamil Nadu during the first 20 days of June (1-20 June, 2013) is 1.2TMCas estimated by CWDT.  This demand is for the nursery cultivation of Kuruvai Paddy.  The irrigation water demand of Karnataka during the corresponding period is of the order of about 0.9 TMC.   As indicated earlier, the live storage in all the four  reservoirs in Cauvery basin in Karnataka  as on 31.05.2013 is 3.77TMC and corresponding live storage in Mettur ( Tamil Nadu)  is 3.73 TMC.    In view of the storage position and the corresponding water demands for the first 10 day period of June and anticipating the onset of monsoon in time, Chairman decided that the position regarding storages and allocation will be reviewed in the next meeting along with other deferred agenda items in the next meeting proposed to be held on 12.6.2013.

Tags: GopurajapuramGovernment of KarnatakaIndiaKarnatakaKaveriKeralaSupreme CourtTamil Nadu

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