Supreme Court questions center over delay in Cauvery Board formation

The Supreme Court on Monday criticised the Centre and asked it to frame a draft scheme by May 3 for implementation of judgment on distribution of Cauvery water between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

Thereafter, Tamil Nadu moved a contempt plea in the Supreme Court, seeking action against the Centre for allegedly failing to form the CMB within the prescribed time limit of six weeks.

TN argued that formation of this Board is crucial as the state pointed out that Karnataka has, in the past, declined to release the entire quantum of water.

Tamil film fraternity led by veteran actors-turned-politicians Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth on Sunday observed a silent protest demanding the setting up of a Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC). In the year 1974, with 50 years of the 1924 pact between the two British age presidencies coming to an end Karnataka asked for greater share of Cauvery water as it said it will no longer give the decided share to Tamil Nadu.

The apex court, in its verdict, had asked the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute.

It will also hear the Centre's plea to extend the deadline for framing a scheme to implement its February 16 judgment in the Cauvery water dispute.

With Tamil Nadu's Cauvery river water sharing row with Karnataka hotting up, there were speculations that a few IPL matches of the present season might be shifted to Kerala. They are bound to frame a scheme.

Due to the ongoing Cauvery water dispute issue threatening the security in the home matches of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, there is also a possibility of several fringe elements continuing their agitation.

The Centre was directed to share plans by on how the distribution of the Cauvery water will be implemented.

The bench directed the filing of the draft scheme pertaining to CMB before it. "We are surprised that it has not been done", said the bench also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

But, the use of the word "scheme" has left room open for interpretation.

Now, farmers groups and political parties have threatened to disrupt the tournament to press for their demand that the Cauvery board be set up immediately. "There is no difficulty in setting up the Cauvery management board but the difficulty is whether an administrative member or a technical member should head it".

  • Rogelio Becker