SC gives go-ahead to Cauvery panel to examine issues

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 15:30 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday said the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) would examine at its meeting Wednesday all issues, including shortfall in the river water supplied to Tamil Nadu, and make recommendations.

The court said this on being told that the union water resources secretary in a letter to the Tamil Nadu chief secretary had said that CMC could not go into the question of shortfall in the supply of Cauvery water as the matter was before the apex court.

The court said that notwithstanding that the matter was before it over the contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the sharing of Cauvery water, the CMC was under no constraint in considering all the issues.

The apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice J.S. Khehar said that both the states would be at liberty to approach it to seek any clarification on the recommendations of the committee.

The CMC is meeting Wednesday to decided on the water that Karnataka would be supplying to Tamil Nadu in the first fortnight of November. The CMC would meeting again in mid-November to decided about the water releases Nov 16-30.

The apex court direction to CMC came in the wake of resistance by Karnataka which said that the question of supply of water could not be re-opened by the committee as the same had earlier been decided by the Cauvery River Authority headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, said the court should adjourn the matter and list it around November-end so that data on the supply of water to Tamil Nadu Nov 1-15 and Nov 16-30 was available.

The court said that it could accede to the request provided Karnataka complied with the interim award of the CRA, both in letter and spirit.

The court orders came in the course of the hearing of a batch of petitions and applications filed both by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the release of 9,000 cusecs of water from Cauvery.

The CRA headed by the prime minister, in an interim award, had directed Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water every day. The interim CRA award was passed Sep 19.

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