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Cauvery draft scheme: Centre may seek time, cite CM Siddaramaiah letter

The Centre’s 109-page affidavit, which will be submitted directly to the judges on Tuesday, is likely to cite Siddaramaiah’s letter for the delay in framing the draft scheme, official sources said.

Written by Sowmiya Ashok | New Delhi |
May 8, 2018 4:24:04 am
cauvery water dispute, cauvery water mgmt board, Siddaramaiah, karnataka cm, pm modi, central govt, indian express Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Files)

The letter by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on April 23 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that the Karnataka government is “strongly opposed” to the formation of the Cauvery Management Board, might be used by the Centre to seek a 10-day extension from the Supreme Court for submitting the draft scheme in the Cauvery river dispute case.

The Centre’s 109-page affidavit, which will be submitted directly to the judges on Tuesday, is likely to cite Siddaramaiah’s letter for the delay in framing the draft scheme, official sources said. The Centre would argue that while it was taking steps to obtain Cabinet approval for submission of the draft scheme, the Karnataka CM’s letter had come in the way of meeting the May 3 deadline.

Siddaramaiah’s letter to Modi had sought a meeting “personally at the earliest” to discuss the scheme to be formulated for management of the Cauvery waters and wanted the Centre to adopt a two-layered draft scheme recommended by the state government to resolve the issue.

In the letter, the Chief Minister is quoted saying “our government is strongly opposed to formation of the Cauvery Management Board because such a board is not constitutional” and that the “Supreme Court has not directed mechanism”.

Siddaramaiah’s letter had also said that “setting up the Cauvery Management Board goes beyond the necessity of implementation of the award as passed by the Tribunal and as modified by Supreme Court. These provisions are destructive of federal scheme of the Constitution of India as they violate the powers of the State to manage its water in Cauvery after ensuring 177.25 tmc at the inter-state border (Bilingundu check point) in a normal year or proportionate share in a bad year determined on ground realities”.

The Centre would also contend that the views of all States have been duly considered for effective implementation of the award, and the draft scheme which has been prepared is being given “finishing touches”. It is also likely to say that the scheme will be submitted before the Supreme Court in 10 days after approval of the Union cabinet.

Meanwhile, Karnataka on Monday filed an affidavit in Supreme Court stating that there was no further need for releasing water to Tamil Nadu as it has already released 116.7 tmc ft, which is 16.66 tmc ft more than the allocated quota, until April 2018.

Tamil Nadu also filed an affidavit demanding the release of 4 tmc ft of water stating that around 19 tmc ft is available in Karnataka dams whereas just over 9 tmc ft is available in Tamil Nadu dams, of which only 4.5 tmc ft can be utilised.

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