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March 23, 2018
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Cauvery: All-party meet unanimous on taking advice of legal teamNo clarity on whether dispute resolution mechanism means constituting a board, says CM

The all-party meeting — convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Thursday to discuss the fallout of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Cauvery issue — unanimously decided to take a call on whether to seek a review of the court verdict and also finalise its stand on the nature of the dispute resolution forum, based on suggestions by the legal team, led by Fali S. Nariman.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, which was marked by the absence of prominent leaders, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the concerns of floor leaders of both the Houses of the legislature and legislators and MPs from the Cauvery basin had been heard. Their concerns would be conveyed to the legal team. However, there was no clarity on whether the dispute resolution mechanism meant constituting a Cauvery Water Management Board, he said.

Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil explained that while the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal had referred to the formation of a board, the SC had only described it as a dispute resolution mechanism and had not defined its nature as well as its constitution.

More light on this was expected on Friday when the Secretary of the Water Resources Ministry would hold a meeting of Chief Secretaries from the riparian States, he said. If need be, Karnataka would seek clarification at the meeting besides referring the issue to its legal team, Mr. Patil said.

He said there was time till March 18 to file a review petition, if at all the State chooses to file one.

The Supreme Court had pronounced its verdict on February 16, increasing Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water from 270 tmcft to 284.75 tmcft. Of the additional 14.75 tmcft, the apex court had awarded 4.75 tmcft for drinking water requirements of Bengaluru, and the remaining earmarked for handling the State’s irrigation needs.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar, Bengaluru Central MP P.C. Mohan, JD(S) MP from Mandya, Puttaraju, and legislators Y.S.V. Datta, Basavaraj Horatti, and Srikante Gowda took part in the meeting, in which Advocate-General Madhusudan Naik briefed them on the Supreme Court verdict.