THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government decision to close down the Cauvery Cell in New Delhi may well backfire as five major inter-state water disputes involving Kerala will come up before the Supreme Court in July.
The Cauvery case where four governments - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puduchery - have approached the apex court with a civil appeal against the Central Water Commission(CWC) award will come up for hearing continually over five weeks from July 11. While Kerala needs 99.98 TMC of water, the Commission awarded only 30 TMC.
The Cauvery Cell with about 2,000-3,000 records housed in 18 vaults has been the constant back-up for the state when it comes to inter-state water disputes before the Supreme Court.
“The cell has been providing necessary assistance to the state in inter-state water disputes. It has been coordinating legal matters, including meeting the standing counsels, filing different suits on time and providing necessary data to the technical team.
The sudden absence of such a coordinating facility can turn out to be a difficult proposition,” said P Lathika, former Chief Engineer (Irrigation).
Currently the cell has a six-member team headed by an executive engineer. The government has directed the officers to hand over the records to the law office in New Delhi.
Even though the officers sought two months’ time from the government to take stock of the records and complete the handover proceedings, they are yet to hear from the government.