Expert: Cauvery Board will be severe blow to Karnataka

Bengaluru: While people of Karnataka are opposing setting up of Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB), those from the neighbouring Tamil Nadu want the board at the earliest as they believe that it is a permanent solution to their water problems.

After hearing a contempt petition filed by Tamil Nadu on Monday, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra ordered the central government to frame a draft scheme by May 3.

“There is a strong feeling among the people of Tamil Nadu that they are not getting their right share of water from Karnataka and that the board will ensure them full justice. But this notion is wrong,” said water expert S. Vishwanath.

TN getting its water without the board
“I am surprised why this crucial issue is not being highlighted! There is no use in setting up a CMB as Tamil Nadu's share of water is being released on monthly schedules as per the Cauvery Water Tribunal's order already,” Mr Vishwanath pointed out.  

“But the CMB will be bad news for Karnataka, as once it is set up, four Cauvery reservoirs in the state – KRS, Kabini, Hemavati and Harangi – will come under the purview of the board. It will have full authority over releasing water from these reservoirs. For example, if in June, reservoirs receive only 10 tmcft of water and if the board insists on releasing the entire 10 tmcft to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka will be at a loss. It will not be justice for Karnataka at all,” he said.

Release water on prorata basis
The state governments, without pressurising the Centre for a CMB, should arrive at an amicable solution outside the court, Mr Vishwanath said. “Sincere efforts should be made to share Cauvery waters on the basis of data and not sentiments. Water should be released as per the inflows. If the reservoirs get around 10 tmcft, then the state should retain 7 tmcft and release 3 tmcft."

Set up live data displays
He said that inflows into Cauvery reservoirs and outflows to Tamil Nadu should be displayed live on big screens. An independent authority, like the Central Water Commission, should be handed over the task of monitoring data and releasing water. 

Actor’s call good, but let water be released based on data
Welcoming a move suggested by Tamil actor Simbu, who has asked the people of Karnataka to post videos of them giving water to Tamil Nadu with hashtag #UniteForHumanity, water expert Mr Vishwanath said, “He has requested the people of Karnataka to use whatever water they want and give the rest to Tamil Nadu. But this is demeaning and not fair for the people of Tamil Nadu. A lot of people in Karnataka are sharing Simbu’s message, asking others to post videos of water sharing on social media on April 11 between 3 and 5 pm.”

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