Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to protect the state’s interest in the Cauvery river water dispute.
Jayalalithaa asked the prime minister to constitute the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to protect the state’s interests so that the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) order can be implemented.
In a letter to the prime minister, Jayalalithaa said: “the government of Karnataka is in the habit of depleting the storages from its four reservoirs namely Krishnarajasagar, Kabini, Hemavathy and Harangi during the summer months besides utilising the inflows into the reservoirs during the period.”
She said summer showers in the catchment areas of the Cauvery Basin in Karnataka would begin in the third week of April and the state’s reservoirs would receive inflows.
“Karnataka, as in the past, would continue to utilise the flows for summer irrigation without conserving it for the releases as prescribed in the final order of the tribunal. The government of Karnataka should adhere to the irrigation season from June 1 to Jan 31 as stipulated in the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and should not be allowed to deplete the storages from its reservoirs for summer irrigation,” Jayalalithaa said.
She said it is essential that a monitoring mechanism be put in place by the first week of May so that Tamil Nadu’s rights are protected from the ensuring irrigation year 2013-14.
“Under these circumstances, I once again request you to order the Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee are put in place to implement the final order of the tribunal in letter and spirit,” she said.
On the Supreme Court’s direction, the central government notified the tribunal’s final order last month.
The notification gives a legal backing to order as under Section 6 of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, the central government has to notify the award of the tribunal.