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|August 7, 1998||
Karunanidhi announces breakthrough in Cauvery talks
The chief ministers of the Cauvery basin states today achieved a breakthrough on the implementation of the contentious interim award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
A broad agreement was reached at the end of the final round of talks Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had with the chief ministers of the riparian states -- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry -- this morning, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi told the media.
Karunanidhi said the chief ministers had agreed on major points, and the only difference of opinion that remained to be resolved was on the powers of the authority that would monitor the implementation of the scheme.
Under the agreement, there would be a central scheme which would give effect to the interim order of the tribunal and other subsequent orders.
This meant that Karnataka had agreed in principle to release 205 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu every year as stipulated by the interim award of the tribunal.
The chief ministers also agreed that there shall be an authority chaired by the prime minister. The chief ministers shall be its members.
The authority shall frame rules and regulations for the conduct of its business.
Under the authority, there shall be a monitoring committee consisting of designated officers of the Centre and the state governments concerned.
Karunanidhi said there were minor differences on the powers to be vested with the monitoring committee.
The Karnataka government insisted that the monitoring committee should assist the committee chaired by the prime minister, while his government said the committee should be powerful enough to conduct its business on its own. Kerala was neutral on this issue, while Pondicherry supported Tamil Nadu's contention.
The prime minister has constituted a drafting committee headed by the cabinet secretary to narrow down the differences, Karunanidhi said.
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