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Tribunal awards major chunk of Cauvery water to K'taka, TN

Feb 20, 2013 02:25 PM IST India India

Chennai: The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award issued its notification on Wednesday with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka getting major chunk of the the river water. The tribunal awarded both the states 270 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet of water each out of the total of 740 tmcft.

Kerala will receive 30 tmcft of water while Pondicherry would get 7 tmcft. Even in distress years, the amount of shared water will remain same, the tribunal said.

As per the tribunal's notification, Karnataka will be held responsible for the monthly supply as per the fixed schedule for the months of June to November. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has called the tribunal's notification a "personal victory and a culmination of 22 years of struggle by the people of Tamil Nadu".

"It is a great victory for me and my government... after 22 long years we have got justice," she told reporters at the Secretariat here responding to the development. Noting it was also a victory of Cauvery Delta farmers, she said since the award has been notified it becomes binding on the neighbouring state, which she said, cannot deny water in the future to Tamil Nadu which was "literally at the mercy of Karnataka."

She said at times of distress, the state would also abide by the tribunal's directions in sharing Cauvery water. Terming as a "tremendous victory," the notification of the final award, she said after spending 30 years in politics "first time in these years, I have a sense of fulfilment and achievement today."

Flaying the Centre, she said it was "reluctant" even to notify the interim award even as there was a delay in notifying the final award too. The Chief Minister noted that while the monsoon sometimes came in bounty to her state, only the overflow from reservoirs in Karnataka during good monsoon there were made available to Tamil Nadu. "We are grateful to the Supreme Court for giving us justice," she said.

"It is a red-letter day for me personally," she said even as her government won its case at the National Green Tribunal over converting the New Assembly-Secretariat complex into a multi-speciality hospital.

The notification came after the Supreme Court rapped the Centre for delaying the decision and had on February 4 set February 20 as the deadline for final decision. In, what was then described as a balancing act, the Tribunal gave Tamil Nadu 419 TMC of water (as against the demand of 562 TMC); Karnataka 270 TMC (as against its demand of 465 TMC); Kerala 30 TMC and Puducherry 7 TMC. For environmental protection, it had reserved 10 TMC.

The Tribunal's award will come into effect within 90 days of its notification by the Centre. As per law, the award comes into being after being notified by the Centre through its publication in a gazette.

Institutions like the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) chaired by the Prime Minister and the CMC will now cease to exist. New organisations like the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee will be constituted, which will have representatives from all the co-basin states, experts in hydrology and agriculture.

They will be headed by an officer of the central government and will be under the control of the Centre. While Tamil Nadu had been demanding an early notification, Karnataka was opposed to it saying till the times cases filed by it in the Supreme Court are settled, the notification should be kept in abeyance.

(With Additional Inputs From PTI)