SC asks Centre to apprise it on setting up Cauvery Management Board

Cauvery river flowing in to Kallanai Dam in Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu | PTI

In its verdict on February 16, the apex court had marginally cut Tamil Nadu's share of Cauvery water and had allotted it to Karnataka on account of depleting ground water reserves in the state and acute shortage of water for drinking and domestic purposes in the capital city of Bengaluru.

Accusing the Centre of playing politics over the Cauvery issue, Tamil Nadu's counsel Shekhar Naphade informed the court that such attitude towards the state would amount to the end of federalism in the country as well as the rule of law. The Supreme Court also directed the Centre to file an affidavit in the matter. Speaking to reporters at the Madurai airport, she said the allegation of opposition parties that the BJP government was purposely delaying the constitution of the board with an eye on the Karnataka assembly election was not true.

The court also questioned the Centre for the reason for the delay in forming the scheme as ordered by it.

The apex court had earlier given May 3 as the deadline for the Centre to frame the draft scheme for setting up the CMB.

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The bench also rebuked Centre for not finalising the Cauvery scheme until now and asked it to apprise the court on May 8 about steps taken for setting up of Cauvery Management Board for implementation of its order.

Tamil Nadu's main political parties, including DMK and the Congress, have been staging protests for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board after the Supreme Court's February 16 order of setting up a regulatory body that would monitor the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu by Karnataka. "The prime minister and all ministers are away in karnataka", attorney general for India k k Venugopal said urging the court to give the centre more time. Initially, the Centre sought three months time to implement the directive. It has set May 8 as the date for the next hearing the case.

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.

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