New Delhi: The deadline for the Centre to notify the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal Award ends on Wednesday. After the notification, the future sharing of water among all Cauvery basin states, which are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, will be based on the final award. Currently, water sharing is based on the interim award of the Tribunal.
The move came after the Supreme Court rapped the Centre for delaying the decision and had on February 4 set February 20 as the deadline to issue notification. The Centre could also inform the Supreme Court about the issuance of the notification, sources said.
In an unanimous award in February, 2007, the tribunal, comprising chairman Justice NP Singh and members NS Rao and Sudhir Narain, had determined the total availability of water in the Cauvery basin at 740 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet at the Lower Coleroon Anicut site. The proceedings of the Tribunal, set up in June, 1990, went on for more than 16 years.
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. After the issuance of the notification, institutions like the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) chaired by the Prime Minister and the CMC will 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)