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September 26, 1999
CRA team to assess Cauvery situation
The Cauvery River Authority's monitoring committee will make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka tomorrow while the Tamil Nadu Cabinet will meet in Madras on Tuesday to demand the immediate release of water.
Official sources in Bangalore said the committee led by Union Water Resources Secretary Z Hasan is expected to arrive in the Karnataka capital tonight. It will also visit Tamil Nadu, though its programme there was not known.
The Karnataka Cabinet is meeting in Bangalore tomorrow to discuss the issue.
The Tamil Nadu Cabinet is meeting on Tuesday following a telephonic invitation from Prime Minister A B Vajpayee to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi this morning to attend the CRA meeting being convened by him in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Tamil Nadu government has also objected to Karnataka Irrigation Minister K N Nage Gowda's reported statement that the monitoring committee had violated the 1995 clarificatory order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
The government said it was not open to Nage Gowda to unilaterally declare his inability to release the river's water as ordered by the tribunal.
The tribunal's clarificatory order had made it clear that it was not open to any particular party to unilaterally decide that there is distress and determine the formula for reducing its obligation, Tamil Nadu pointed out.
The tribunal, in its earlier April 1992 clarificatory order, had said that in case of hardship to any party in a particular year, it could approach the tribunal for appropriate orders.
In total disregard of this, Karnataka had just withheld the release of water despite "comfortable storage" in its reservoirs, the Tamil Nadu release said.
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