As the Prime Minister chairs the meeting of the Cauvery River Authority on Wednesday after a gap of nine years,the Centre is hoping to persuade Karnataka to adhere to the formula laid down by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal for water-sharing in a distress year. Karnataka is demanding reworking of the distress formula based on the ground realities.
Sources in the government pointed out that the best way out is still the implementation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award of 2007 under which the actual release of water by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu was fixed at 192 tmcft annually. In a distress year,the allocated shares were to be proportionately reduced among the four basin states of Kerala,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
But,with Karnataka sticking to its demand for a relook into the distress-sharing formula itself,the Centre is in a quandary. The chief ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are attending the meeting,while Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is likely to give it a miss. Sources in the Water Resources Ministry said Karnataka has not been releasing water to Tamil Nadu and other riparian states according to the tribunal award.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has already brought to the PMs attention her charge that Karnataka was not ensuring flows in the Cauvery as per the tribunals final order in the crucial June to September period. The meeting,against this backdrop,is expected to be stormy.