The Centre is likely to file a clarification application in the Supreme Court on Saturday over the formulation of a “scheme” to resolve the Cauvery water dispute. With Tamil Nadu demanding that the scheme should resemble a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Karnataka pressing for a dispute resolution body, the Centre is likely to lay both options on the table and ask the Supreme Court to clarify what shape the “scheme” should take, sources said.
The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) Secretary U P Singh met officials on Wednesday to assess the situation. A ministry official said the Cauvery matter was discussed and the Centre has decided to seek a clarification from the apex court. With the Supreme Court deadline to formulate a scheme approaching on March 29, the MoWR was considering several options. Earlier, it had said a cabinet note was under preparation to set up a central body that will help execute the top court’s verdict.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the Centre was also considering moving court to seek clarification on the nature of the scheme. The Tamil Nadu government will file a contempt petition if no action is taken by the Centre to resolve the dispute and Puducherry is also likely to do the same.
The need for the court’s intervention arose after conflicting demands by the riparian states. While Tamil Nadu and Puducherry sought a CMB, Karnataka proposed a two-layered “dispute resolution body”. Kerala had filed a review petition on usage of water allocated to it.