In a fresh turn of developments, the Supreme Court on Friday accepted governments amended draft scheme decoding the water sharing scheme between the 4 states namely Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala in the decades-old Cauvery water dispute. The judicature gave the nod to Centre for maintaining a monthly record of water released every day from the reservoirs, as directed by the Cauvery Management Board. “The amended draft scheme says in terms of water distributed to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the regulation committee of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to collect daily release of water on a monthly basis from the reservoirs as directed by the authority,” reported news agency ANI.
If one looks closely, this dispute has been going on for 22 years now. In February 2018, the Supreme Court gave the verdict in favour of Karnataka and directed the other states to increase Karnataka’s quota by 14.75 tmcft, taking it to 270 tmcft. On a closer look, the court reduced Tamil Nadu’s share to 404.25 tmcft, while allowing it to extract 10 tmcft of groundwater from the river basin. Just after few hours of the verdict, massive protests broke-out across states. In an attempt to control the situation, the court ordered the government to set up the Cauvery Management Board and had given it 6 weeks to do so. Notably, that deadline lapsed at the end of March, with the Centre seeking extensions.
Later, the government told the bench on May 3 that it had failed to meet the deadline for framing the draft because PM Narendra Modi and other cabinet ministers were busy with preparations for the Assembly elections in Karnataka. Hearing the excuse, Court rebuked the government. On May 15, the draft scheme was finally submitted by the government before the court. The Centre had also assured that a separate committee will be set up for the issue in Bengaluru.