The Centre on Monday submitted its draft Cauvery water management scheme on water sharing between four southern riparian states to the Supreme Court, two days after Karnataka voted in the Assembly election.
The Centre on Monday submitted its draft Cauvery water management scheme on water sharing between four southern riparian states to the Supreme Court, two days after Karnataka voted in the Assembly election. Having been warned of contempt, Union water resources secretary UP Singh, who was summoned by the apex court last week, was personally present in the courtroom with copies of the draft scheme.
A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra while taking on record the draft scheme asked the four beneficiary states – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry – to look into the Centre’s water sharing scheme. “Without going into the legalities, we will just see if the scheme is in consonance with our February verdict,” and the Bench said, while posting the matter for further hearing on on Wednesday.
Before approving the scheme, the Bench will hear all the states’ concerns. Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the Centre was open to any nomenclature for the implementing authority of the Cauvery Water Management Scheme, 2018. He said it could be “Board, Authority or Committee.” The authority would be a body corporate headquartered in Bengaluru.
The draft said the chairman of the authority, to be appointed by the Centre, would have a proposed tenure of five years or till the age of 65, and that the person would be a senior eminent engineer with wide experience or an IAS officer. The proposed body would have four part-time members from the States who are administrative secretaries in their water resources departments.
The authority would monitor the storage, apportionment, regulation and control of the Cauvery waters and also supervise the operation of reservoirs. According to the scheme, if any state did not cooperate with the Cauvery Tribunal or the Supreme judgment, the authority could approach the Centre, whose decision would be final and binding on the states. The authority would also decide on the “distress formula” in water-sharing, it stated.