New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will chair the much-awaited meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) for the first time in nine years on Wednesday primarily to discuss Tamil Nadu's demand that Karnataka release water from Cauvery river to save the crops that depend on it.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who has been vociferously demanding such a meeting to discuss thread-bare water issues between the state and Karnataka, is expected to attend the meeting and put forth her case before the panel.

This would be the first meeting of the CRA, set up in 1997, after the UPA Government assumed power in 2004 and is likely to be a stormy affair with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka likely to stick to their known positions.

Besides Jayalalithaa, her counterparts from Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry will also be present at the meeting of the CRA, which was last convened in 2003.

The meeting would discuss Tamil Nadu's demand for immediate release of water by Karnataka to save the state's standing rice crops as well as a long-lasting solution to the vexed issue.

It also takes place after the Supreme Court chided the PMO on September 3 for not convening such a meeting.

The bitterness of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over sharing of Cauvery water dates back to 1990s from when they have been locked in a bitter battle for over two decades to share the water of Cauvery river.

Both states are now fighting their battle in the Supreme Court.

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal had in 2007 submitted its report, awarding water share to all the states concerned.

In its application in Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu had said during the current irrigation year 2012-2013, though the south west monsoon is not vigorous in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka, the state of Karnataka has received 21.9 TMCft of inflow in its four major reservoirs upto July 20.

It had complained that over the years, Karnataka did not agree to the distress sharing formula evolved by the Central Water Commission/Cauvery Monitoring Committee, with the result that it "resorts to impounding all the flows in its reservoirs depriving the state of Tamil Nadu from getting its legitimate flow, more so during the lean years, thus aggravating the distress situation".


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