SC seeks Centre's response on CRA meeting over Cauvery row
By PTI - NEW DELHI
13th August 2012 07:00 PM
The Supreme Court today sought the
Centre's response on Tamil Nadu Government's plea to convene a
meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and allow release of 25.373 tmfct of
water to save the standing crops in the state.
However, the apex court declined to give any specific direction to the CRA as sought by Tami Nadu's counsel C S Vaidyanathan saying, "Can we direct the Prime Minister to release the waters. Can we force a committee headed by the Prime Minister to decide?"
The bench of Justices D K Jain and Madan Lokur also directed the Karnataka Government to file its reply on Tamil Nadu's application for evolving a distress water sharing formula and posted the matter for September 3.
The bench in its order said, "Union of India to place before us its response to the application particularly personal request made by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to the Prime Minister by separate letter which are on record."
The state has sought a direction to the Centre for convening the CRA meeting immediately to perform its statutory obligations and approve the distress sharing formula evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee for sharing of flows of the river Cauvery in view of the prevailing "distress" situation in Tamil Nadu.
Jayalalithaa had also written letters to the Prime Minister for the CRA meet.
The apex court expressed its disappointment at the conduct of the Centre in not deputing any senior law officer to assist the court in the matter.
"Please don't provoke us to make observations which are not palpable to Union of India," the bench told Centre's counsel Wasim Ahmed Quadri, after noticing that no senior law officer was present at the time of hearing.
The apex court pointed out that even though Tamil Nadu had
filed an application for convening the CRA meeting and release
of water, the Union Government has not adequately responded.
In its application Tamil Nadu has said that during the current irrigation year, 2012-2013, though the South West monsoon is not vigorous in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka, the state of Karnataka has received 21.9 TMCft of inflow in its four major reservoirs upto July 20.
"But it has not shared the water with Tamil Nadu. Instead started to build the storages in its 4 major reservoirs and letting water in the canals of Krishna Raja Sagar for irrigation, with the result, the state of Tamil Nadu is deprived of its due waters as per the interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal," the application said.
It complained that over the years Karnataka did not agree to the distress sharing formula evolved by the Central Water Commission/Cauvery Monitoring Committee, with the result that it "resorts to impounding all the flows in its reservoirs depriving the state of Tamil Nadu in getting its legitimate flows, more so during the lean years, thus aggravating the distress situation."
Tamil Nadu said that "during the current irrigation season 2012-13 also, the southwest monsoon has not been active so far in the Catchment area of Cauvery, with the result, there is a distress situation and since there is no agreed formula for sharing the flows in such distress years, the state is put to hardship." PTI RB
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