Congress Core Group discusses Cauvery issue
New Delhi: The Congress Core Group met on Friday to discuss the vexed Cauvery dispute issue amid indications that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take a final call on notifying the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal by month-end.
Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat is learnt to have briefed the Congress Core Group, which includes the prime minister and party chief Sonia Gandhi, that it is legally binding for the government to notify the award.
While Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has written to the prime minister requesting him against notifying the award, the state's counsel has told the Supreme Court that it has no objection to the notification of the award, Rawat is understood to have told the party leadership.
Sources said the Prime Minister is likely to take a final call on the issue by the end of this month.
The Centre has already informed the apex court that since the draft notification is pending with the Law Ministry, it is likely to take a final decision on the issue by January 31.
Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, has been pressing for an early notification of the final award.
The Centre had informed the Cauvery water sharing states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry that it would notify the award by December end, but the self-imposed deadline was missed as the issue is still pending the scrutiny of the Law Ministry.
During the meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee here yesterday Karnataka Chief Secretary had said that he would receive orders of the state government on the issue of notification of the award and communicate the same to the inter-state panel within the next two days.
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.