Centre submits draft of Cauvery scheme in Supreme Court

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Centre submits draft of Cauvery scheme in Supreme Court

The Centre on Monday placed before the Supreme Court a draft of the Cauvery management scheme for implementation of the apex court's February 16 judgment for sharing the water between four states.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra made it clear that it will not go into the correctness of the draft Cauvery scheme framed by the government and will examine only one issue - whether the scheme conforms to its judgment of February 16.

The court has slated the hearing for May 16. The filing of the draft scheme comes a day after the Karnataka Assembly polls. 

The draft scheme submitted by Union Water Resources Secretary U P Singh, who was personally present in the court, which stated that it faced a dilemma about the nomenclature of the body that will be entrusted the task of supervising the sharing of Cauvery water as per court’s verdict.

Centre, which successfully managed to buy time from the top court to avoid any political fallout of the Cauvery dispute in Karnataka, was not clear about nomenclature of the body.

Centre said it was unsure whether to call the supervising body a Board, Authority or Committee.
According to the draft, the proposed body shall be based out at Bengaluru.

All states which are party to the case have been given the copy of the draft so as to see if it adheres to all points given in the judgement. The court also said that before approving the scheme it shall hear each state if they have any objection.

On the last date of hearing the court had pulled up the Centre for not framing the Cauvery management scheme to implement its verdict on river water sharing between four southern states.

Centre had told the top court that Cabinet approval for the scheme could not be obtained since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues were busy in the Karnataka poll campaign.

The top court had on February 16 raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a 'higher pedestal'.

According to the order, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry would be annually entitled to 404.25 tmcft, 284.75 tmcft, 30 tmcft and 7 tmcft of Cauvery water respectively out of the total of 740 tmcft.