Notification of Cauvery Tribunal award delayed



New Delhi: The notification of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award has been delayed as the Law Ministry is yet to take a final view on the issue.

The Water Resources Ministry had last month said that the award will be notified by the end of December.

"While the gazette notification has been vetted, the Law Ministry is yet to take a final view on issuing it as some cases in the Supreme Court are still pending," government sources said here today.

They said a section is of the view that till the cases are disposed, the notification should not be published.

It has been nearly six years that the Tribunal set up settle the water sharing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had given its verdict.

While Tamil Nadu has been pressing for an early issuance of the notification, Karnataka has been opposing the move.

At a meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC) here on December 7, Secretary Water Resources D V Singh--who chairs the panel-- had told representatives of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry that steps "shall" be taken to notify the final award of the tribunal at the earliest, "but not later than the end of this month."

Once a gazette notification is issued, institutions like the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) chaired by the Prime Minister and the CMC will cease to exist.

The Tribunal, comprising chairman Justice N P Singh and members N S Rao and Sudhir Narain, in a unanimous award in February 2007 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.

PTI