New Delhi: Karnataka was on Tuesday directed to release 2,000 cusecs Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu from 7 to 18 October by the Supreme Court, which deferred its order asking the Centre to set up Cauvery Water Management Board till it finally decided on appeals relating to the age-old water dispute.
Instead, the apex court agreed to the suggestion that a Supervisory Committee, comprising officials and technical experts from the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, be set up to inspect Cauvery basin for assessing ground realities.
The committee was asked by the bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit, to file its report by 17 October. The matter will be taken up a day after when the court reopens after the Dussehra break. The order was passed after taking on record the written note of Karnataka government that it has released around 17.5 TMC of water from 5 to 30 September and the proposal was to release 3.1 TMC by 6 October.
However, Tamil Nadu government complained that there was a deficit 4.6 TMC of supply of water in the month of September and it required a total of 22 TMC of water till October. The bench agreed with the suggestion of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the Supervisory Committee can have GS Jha, Chairman/Member of Central Water Commission (CWC) as chairman.
The panel, which would also comprise Chief Secretaries or his nominees of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, will have chief engineers of all stakeholders including Kerala and Puducherry. Rohatgi suggested the names of CWC member Syed Masood Hussain and its chief engineer RK Gupta as other members of the proposed panel.
The apex court deferred the orders of 20 and 30 September for setting up of the CWMB, after the Attorney General said the civil appeals against Cauvery Tribunal's recommendation on it was pending and listed for hearing before a three-judge bench on 18 October.