The centre, on Friday, constituted the Cauvery Management Authority to address the ongoing water sharing dispute of river water among the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry.
The move came in compliance with Supreme Court’s order to form the CMA within six weeks in a verdict that marginally increased Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water, reduced the allocation for Tamil Nadu and sought to settle the protracted water dispute between the two southern states.
In a gazette notification, the Ministry of Water Resources said it has framed a scheme constituting the CMA and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to give effect to the decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court order.
The authority would comprise a chairman, eight members besides a secretary. Out of eight members, two each will be full-time and part-time members, while the rest four would be part-time members from states.
The apex court, in its verdict delivered on February 16, had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, including creation of the Cauvery Management Board. The scheme 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.
It 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”.
The authority will exercise power and discharge such duty for “sufficient and expedient for securing compliance and implementation” of the Supreme Court order in relation to “storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters”.
“If the authority finds that any government of the party states, namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry do not cooperate in implementing the decision or direction of the tribunal, it can seek the help of the central government for implementation of the award…,” the notification said.
The notification comes weeks after the Supreme Court while disposing of all applications regarding Cauvery dispute on May 18, approved the proposed ‘Cauvery Water Management Authority’ and asked the Centre to notify it in the official gazette and give effect to it with “promptitude before onset of impending monsoon”.
(with agency inputs)