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After SC rap, Cauvery River Authority to meet later this month

New Delhi: For the first time in nine years, the Cauvery River Authority will meet later this month this time to discuss Tamil Nadu's demand for immediate release of water by Karnataka to save the state's standing rice crops.

The decision to convene the meeting of the CRA headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh either on September 19 or 20 comes after the Supreme Court pulled up PMO officials on the issue.

Water Resources Minister P K Bansal said today the Centre was in touch with Chief Ministers of the member-states of the
CRA and expressed the hope that everyone would be present at the meeting.

Representational image. Reuters

"We are in touch with all the Chief Ministers and everybody would be there (at the meeting). In all likelihood, it will be 19th or 20th of this month," Bansal told reporters here.

He was responding to questions about the Supreme Court's strong remarks against PMO officials for not convening the
meeting.

The last time the CRA met was on 10 February, 2003 under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee. The CRA was set up by the Centre in 1997 with far reaching powers to ensure the implementation of the Interim Order.

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been locked in a bitter battle for over two decades to share the water of Cauvery river. Both states are now fighting their battle in the Supreme Court.

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal had in 2007 submitted its report, awarding water share to all the states  concerned. An apex court bench of justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur had yesterday expressed surprise that the meeting of CRA, comprising chief ministers of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, has not taken place as the PMO is trying to fix a date convenient to all members.

PTI