CHENNAI : Moving a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against two top officials of the Central Water Commission (CWC), including Chairman Masood Hussain, and three officials from Karnataka in relation to the Mekedatu issue, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday sought directions to summon these officials and punish them for contempt for ‘willfully disobeying’ the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) given on February 5, 2007, as affirmed by the SC in its verdict dated February 16, 2018.
TN also sought directions to the Director, Project Appraisal (South), Directorate of CWC to withdraw the November 22 letter giving nod for preparation of a Detailed Project Report to build the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir cum Drinking Water Project across the Cauvery.
“...if the executive wing of Centre/State Government believes that their actions would defeat the implementation of the adjudicated disputes, it would lead to total anarchy and the very foundation of constitutional democracy, independent judiciary and continuance of quasi-federal structure of the Constitution would be in jeopardy,” the petition said, adding that the Chairman of the CWC, under which the Project Appraisal (South) Directorate functions, had failed to honour and implement CWDT’s decision.
Therefore, the CWC’s Chairman ought not to have allowed the go-ahead given for the preparation of said DPR, TN said in its petition.TN government also said that the Minister of Water Resources, State of Karnataka had issued a press release saying he would be visiting the project site on December 7 with top officials to prepare and submit the DPR early. This action is in utter disregard to the binding adjudication and amounts to overreaching in the context of the SC verdict.
TN also pointed out that the Tribunal, after examining the various projects of the party States in the Cauvery river basin, including the projects of Karnataka, allowed certain projects and disallowed certain projects such as some Lift Irrigation Schemes and some trans-basin diversion projects as Cauvery basin is a deficit basin.
Likewise, the extent of cropping area has been reduced, and in certain projects cropping pattern has been changed from wet crops to dry crops in order to reduce the consumption of water. “Since, the Tribunal has decided the area of irrigation and water requirements of various projects and allocated the shares of water to the party States and the said findings have been affirmed, accordingly no new project can be taken up by Karnataka in the Cauvery basin, which is already a deficit basin,” the petition said.