Supreme Court of India approves draft Cauvery Management Scheme

Supreme Court of India approves draft Cauvery Management Scheme

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India today approved the government of India’s draft Cauvery Management Scheme for smooth distribution of water among four southern riparian states.nnA bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra rejected the suggestions of Karnataka and Kerala governments over the scheme, terming them as devoid of merits.nnThe bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s award, which was modified by the apex court, has to be taken to the logical conclusion by the Cauvery Management Scheme.nnIt also dismissed Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking initiation of contempt against the Centre for non-finalisation of Cauvery scheme.nnKarnataka, which is facing political tug of war between BJP and Congress-JD (S) over government formation, had earlier made a failed bid to temporarily stall the finalisation of draft Cauvery management scheme.nnThe top court had made it clear that it would see that the draft scheme is “in consonance with its judgement only.”nnEarlier, the bench had red-flagged the provision empowering the Centre to issue the directions, saying “this part (power of Centre to issue directions) of the scheme is not in consonance with the judgement. We make it clear to you”.nnThe observation was made after the Centre had submitted the draft Cauvery management scheme in the court for its approval.nnThe apex court, in its verdict delivered on February 16, had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, including creation of the Cauvery Managament Board, for release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.nnThe scheme, once finalised, would deal with the issue of water share of the four states in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin.nnThe top court had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.nnIt had 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”.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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