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Cauvery dispute: Supreme Court reserves order on Centre's draft scheme

The Cauvery river has been the source of tension between the two southern states in India, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, for more than a century. Photograph: (WION)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 17, 2018, 03.17 PM (IST)

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on finalisation of the Cauvery management scheme which will deal with the smooth distribution of water among four southern riparian states.

According to news agency PTI, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it will consider the suggestions given by all stakeholders while finalising the Cauvery scheme.

"We will pronounce the order tomorrow. If that is not possible, then we will pass the order on May 22 or 23," PTI reported quoting the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the Karnataka government, submitted suggestions to be dealt while finalising the Cauvery scheme.

Divan said that Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) had provided for minimum water to be allowed to remain in the reservoir on behalf of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain a steady flow of water, adding that, the draft scheme does not deal with this aspect.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the court that the Union has modified the provision of the scheme that had empowered it to pass directions from time to time with regard to water distribution.

The top court on Wednesday asked the central government to modify its draft scheme for setting up of a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) that will be the sole authority for implementing the Cauvery Water Tribunal Award.

It also sought to drop the clause which said that in case of a dispute, the matter would be decided by the Centre and it would be final and binding.

The Centre was also asked to drop the clause that said that the Centre would give directions from time to time to the implementing authority -- a clause objected to by Tamil Nadu.

The 2007 Cauvery Water Tribunal Award was modified and reaffirmed by the top court by its February 16 verdict.

The court said the Central government would only be issuing administrative directions for implementing the award.

The CMB would be headquartered in Delhi while the office of the regulatory authority would be in Bengaluru.

 

(With PTI inputs)

 

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