The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to formulate and file the draft Cauvery management scheme before it by May 3. The court also directed the authorities of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other stakeholders to ensure peace in the meantime.
The issue of Cauvery water dispute was reflected in the just concluded Budget session as well, with AIADMK members repeatedly taking to the well of the house raising protest and demanding the formation of Cauvery Management Board.
On Monday, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said it had considered the award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) while deciding the water share of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry in its February 16 judgement.
The bench also stressed that its judgment has to be complied with all the stakeholders, while saying that authorities are required to ensure peace till it peruses the draft scheme and finalises it for proper distribution of Cauvery water.
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 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.
The top court had on February 16 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”.
With the apex court’s verdict, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry would be annually entitled to 404.25 tmcft, 284.75 tmcft, 30 tmcft and 7 tmcft of Cauvery water respectively out of the total of 740 tmcft.
(With inputs from PTI)