Cauvery water row: Centre submits Cauvery Draft Scheme to Supreme Court

Draft scheme on Cauvery Management Board submitted to SC, Centre suggests…

The government on Monday filed before the Supreme Court a draft scheme on distributing waters of the Cauvery river, weeks after being pulled up for failing to implement the court's order.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court's verdict on the century-long dispute between the two states ruled, "It needs no special emphasis to state that the objective of Section 6A is to act in the manner in which the award determines the allocation and decides the dispute with regard to allocation or sharing of water".

Karnataka said it will challenge the draft for being inconsistent with Sec 6A of Inter-State River Water Dispute, Act, 1956.

The draft scheme will be circulated among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and union territory Puducherry and the court will on Tuesday hear if they have objections to it.

The Centre had dragged its feet on forming the scheme for the Cauvery Management Board by first saying that it wanted clarification on the word "scheme" used by the Supreme Court.

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The apex court allegedly made it clear that it will not go into the legality or the propriety of the scheme.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, took on record the draft scheme submitted by the Union water resource secretary and said it would peruse it.

The authority, which will be headquartered in Bengaluru, is very similar to the Cauvery Management Board the Tribunal recommended.

The Centre had faced severe flak from political parties in Tamil Nadu for missing its six-week deadline. The new water sharing scheme would be applicable for the next 15 years. The Supreme Court in its February 16 order allocated an additional 14.75 tmc of water in favour of Karnataka and reduced Tamil Nadu's share from 192 tmc to 177.25 tmc. He also said the late J Jayalalithaa had taken many steps in connection with the issue. "Come May 16 the Tamil Nadu government will get a good judgment for the people".

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