Bengaluru/New Delhi: A senior official in the Water Resources Ministry has dismissed Karnataka’s apprehensions and said that the function of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of all the reservoirs would continue to be with state governments. The Supreme Court on Friday had directed the Centre to constitute Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB) within three days which would take control of the reservoirs.
According to official sources, the CMB will not take over the operation and maintenance of any reservoirs in the Cauvery basin but will only regulate the release of water as per the final award of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal. Karnataka had earlier filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the CMB, opposing its constitution thinking that the state might lose its rights on the reservoirs as the CMB will regulate the release of water to the riparian states.
All the reservoirs in Cauvery basin, namely Hemavathy, Harangi, Kabini and Krishnarajasagar in Karnataka; Bhavanisagar, Amaravathy and Mettur in Tamil Nadu and Banasura Sagar in Kerala will be operated in an integrated manner under the overall guidance of the Board. The CMB will consist neutral persons along with the representatives of the riparian states- Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. The primary objective of the CMB will be to protect the interests of all basin states without any bias. In the event of distress situation, the CMB will decide on sharing of water both for drinking as well as agriculture taking into account the ground realities.
The CMB can also educate people on cultivating less water-consuming crops, conserving water and other issues.