Centre suggests 9-member panel to regulate Cauvery water distribution

The Centre today proposed to the Supreme Court the setting up of a nine-member authority at Bengaluru to ensure smooth water distribution among the four southern riparian states to tackle the Cauvery water sharing dispute.

The draft scheme, submitted by the Centre before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra following the apex court's February 16 judgement, contained slew of suggestions of the Union Water Resources Ministry.

The Union ministry suggested maintenance of accounts of domestic and industrial water consumption by four states -- Karnataka, Tamil Madu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The nine-member authority, yet to be named, shall consist of a chairman, who is a senior engineer or secretary or additional secretary in the Centre, two full-time members --- a chief engineer from Central Water Engineering Services (CWES) cadre and a commissioner from Ministry of Agriculture, two part-time members-- joint secretaries from Ministries of Water and Agriculture, and four representatives from water resources department of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, to be nominated by respective states.

"The authority shall take care of storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters; It shall supervise the operation of reservoirs and regulation of water releases with assistance from Regulation Committee. Regulated release by Karnataka at the inter-state contact point located on common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu," the draft Cauvery Management scheme said.

"The authority will on June 1 every year determine the total residual storage in the specified reservoirs as it is not possible to know season-wise river flows. It will be assumed that the inflows will be according to 50 per cent dependable year (yield 740 TMC). The share of each state shall be determined on the basis of the flow so assumed, together with the available carry-over storage in reservoirs," the scheme said.

It said the proposed authority shall implement the Supreme Court's February 16 order, by which it had raised the water share of Karnataka and reduced the share of Tamil Nadu.

It suggested that the authority will ensure that the states would construct proper hydraulic structures at all important sites in the basin with provision of appropriate regulation mechanism.

"If any delay or shortfall is caused in release of water on account of default of any state, the authority shall take appropriate action to make good the deficiency by subsequently deducting indented releases of that state. The authority will advice to adopt efficient technology for water conservation and preservation," the scheme said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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