Cauvery meet: States favour 'scheme' to implement apex court order

Cauvery meet: States favour 'scheme' to implement apex court order

Cauvery meet: States favour 'scheme' to implement apex court order

The Centre on Friday asked Cauvery basin states to submit their suggestions on structure and functions of the proposed mechanism to implement the Supreme Court order on allocation of water.

At a meeting convened by Union Water Resources secretary U P Singh to discuss the setting up of the body, the Centre asked the states to submit their recommendation on the body's duties and responsibilities. The meeting was attended by chief secretaries of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry,

The Supreme Court, while pronouncing its verdict on Cauvery water sharing dispute on February 16, has said a "scheme'' should be in place within six weeks to monitor the release of water as per its order.

Though the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) suggested the setting up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to monitor the release of water, the Apex Court did not used CMB instead just said a scheme.

In the meeting all the states, including Karnataka, favoured for setting up the scheme. However, all the states were of the view that the physical assets (dams and other structures on the river) would continue to be with the respective states, while the regulation, water release and supervision aspects would be dealt with by the scheme, said an official in the Ministry of Water Resources.

All of them also said the proposed scheme should protect the interest of farmers of their respective states.  

"The meeting was convened to take the views from the states on formulating the scheme, its exact shape, composition, roles and responsibilities of the body that will be set up under it," Singh told DH after the meeting.

Though states have given their views orally, they were told to file written submission if they wanted, he said.

Asked whether the composition of the scheme would be on the line of what the CWDT had recommended, Singh said
it was a matter of interpretation.

The Supreme Court has (in its order) not used the words Cauvery Management Board, it is basically saying a 'scheme'. It (the scheme) could be exactly what the tribunal had said and all the states have their representation in the body, Singh said.

He said the meeting also discussed if an official, senior than the rank of a chief engineer, should be appointed as the chairman of the sche-
me for its better implementation.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Karnataka Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha said the unanimous decision taken at the meeting was that there should be a scheme. She also said that Karnataka is expected to send its recommendations with regard to the scheme by Monday or Tuesday.

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