Cauvery row: SC accepts Centre's amended draft of water distribution scheme

Earlier, the Centre had informed SC that it was agreeable for Cauvery Management Board to implement Feb 16 verdict.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday accepted the amended draft scheme filed by the Centre in the Cauvery water dispute case.

On Thursday, the apex court reserved its verdict on the finalisation of the Centre’s 'scheme' on setting up of the Cauvery Management Board/Authority for allocation and distribution of water among the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry.

The Centre on Wednesday had informed the court that it was agreeable for the name Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to implement the February 16 judgment.

The Court asked the Attorney General to make necessary changes in the scheme and to submit the revised final scheme.

However, during the resumed hearing on Thursday, Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted before a three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that instead of Cauvery Water Management Board, the Centre has decided to name it as Cauvery Water Management Authority.

He said that there is no change in the composition or powers and in fact, an authority will have more powers than a board. The headquarters will be in Delhi and the authority would exercise full control. It can also seek the help of the Centre if needed.

The CJI told the counsel that it would pass orders in respect of the contempt plea of Tamil Nadu as well as on the 'scheme'.

The final scheme submitted by the Centre, which envisages a 10-member authority, including the secretary, has been empowered to monitor the entire spectrum of monthly availability of storages and rainfall pattern vis-a-vis the schedule of monthly flows to be delivered at Billigundulu/inter-state contact point for a period of 15 years and to effect the necessary adjustments in the monthly schedule.

The authority will have the power to monitor the storage of water in the eight reservoirs in the Cauvery basin and the apportionment, regulation and control of the Cauvery waters. It will also have the power to supervise reservoirs, and with the regulation of water releases from the basin with the assistance of the Water Regulation Committee. The headquarters of the committee will be in Bengaluru. The authority will also regulate the release of water by Karnataka at the inter-state contract point at Billigundulu and discharge station located on the common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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