Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the Centre was holding discussions with stakeholders on the formation of a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and that no unilateral or arbitrary decision would be taken on the interstate river water sharing issue.
She said several states have river water management boards and authorities to resolve water disputes and the best system of boards should be chosen to address the Cauvery dispute. In the wake of the February 16 verdict of the Supreme Court which directed the Centre to evolve a ‘scheme’ on the Cauvery dispute involving Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the ruling AIADMK, the DMK and other political parties have been insisting for setting up of the CMB.
Sitharaman today said the board or system evolved should be acceptable and suitable to all.
“It (the Centre) has to hold consultations with all the states and inform the court about the outcome of the discussion with them and then take action. The central government will not take any arbitrary and unilateral decision or action on the Cauvery issue,” she told reporters at the airport here.
Asked if the constitution of the CMB was being delayed due to Assembly elections in Karnataka, she said it was not the case. The state goes to polls on May 12.
“The CMB was not formed since 2007. The DMK and the Congress were in power and were allies… Did they not form the CMB with the elections in mind then?” she asked.
The Defence Minister is on a visit to Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar districts in the state to carry out a review of central government schemes. She said ministers were being deputed to rural areas to see if the central government schemes reached the people.
“I will discuss with the collectors of Virudhunagar and Ramanathpuram districts implementation of central government schemes,” she added.
To reports that students from Tamil Nadu appearing for medical examination National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) might be allotted exam centres outside the state, the minister said, “I don’t know about it, I will enquire and find out.”