Centre says will formulate scheme on Cauvery water sharing
The Centre on Tuesday said it will formulate a scheme as directed by the Supreme Court in the Cauvery water dispute case but the name or the nomenclature of the body for enforcing the order should not matter.
Union water resources secretary UP Singh told reporters in New Delhi that the question is whether the Centre has the flexibility to formulate a scheme to implement the Supreme Court judgement that will make it “more effective”.
“You have to have a kind of body which will be effective,” he said adding that the Centre would consult the states and get the final approval of the Court.
The Supreme Court had on Monday pulled up the Centre for not finalising the scheme within six months of its February 16 order and asked the government to file a draft scheme by May 3.
Singh said that under the Interstate Water Disputes Act, scheme is a general kind of framework which was not followed in Godavari and Krishna or the Ganga disputes. “But some kind of an authority or board was set up in disputes relating to Narmada and Bhakra Beas rivers,” he elaborated.
“There has to be a structure. We have absolutely no problem on nomenclature. We went to the Supreme Court for clarification because the states concerned had divergent opinions. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry said that scheme meant constitution of a Cauvery Management Board as was decided by the Tribunal while Karnataka maintained that the Supreme Court order did not talk of a Board. Kerala had a different view.”
He said the tribunal award was only recommendatory in nature. It can be Cauvery Management Board or some structure with Chairman and members or it can be an irrigation expert in the rank of Chief Engineer. Or it can be an administrative officer to head such a body, he contended.