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Tribunal awards should be realistic: Krishna

By Our Staff Correspondent

NANJANGUD, JUNE 13. The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S.M. Krishna, said here on Wednesday that the interim award of the Cauvery River Waters Dispute Tribunal should be ``realistic.''

Participating in a function here to launch a series of development projects, he said Tamil Nadu was seeking the release of Cauvery waters although the level in the reservoirs in Karnataka was low. ``The water level in our reservoirs is as low as 72 feet. But they are asking us to release water,'' he said. ``Karnataka will not allow Tamil Nadu to monopolise Cauvery waters.'' His Government was committed to safeguarding the rights and interests of Karnataka farmers and had said so to the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, and the Chief Justice of India.

Mr. Krishna's statement assumes significance in the light of demands for immediate release of Cauvery water by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa.

Mr. Krishna said the awards and interim awards given by tribunals should be realistic and practical. Tribunals were headed by retired judges ``who had enough time on their hands.''

The Cauvery Tribunal, in its interim award in June 1991, had asked Karnataka to release 205 tmc ft. to Tamil Nadu from June to May every year. During the eighth quarterly meeting of the Cauvery River Water Authority Monitoring Committee held in New Delhi recently, Karnataka had agreed to abide by the tribunal's interim award and make good the shortage reported by Tamil Nadu in the first week of June, if there was good rainfall.

Mr. Krishna said the tribunal should expedite the process of finding a solution to the vexed dispute. ``Any delay will lead to unnecessary bitterness between the two States.'' The tribunal should seek the cooperation of the aggrieved States in finding a solution.

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