Centre places draft Cauvery management scheme in Supreme Court

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TN law minister C. V. Shanmugam told reporters outside the Supreme Court complex in Delhi that the state is happy that a situation has now been created-due to the consistent efforts of the Amma government for several years-for the farmers of TN to get their due share of Cauvery water.

"We need to examine whether the said scheme is in consonance with our judgment", the bench said, adding that it would consider and approve the scheme on May 16.

The function of the authority will be to ensure effective implementation of tribunals order of 2007 along with modifications made to it by the apex court in February. On February 16, the Supreme Court reduced the quantity of water Karnataka was asked to supply to Tamil Nadu by 14.75 tmc (thousand million cubic litres).

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The bench was hearing the plea filed by the State of Tamil Nadu seeking to initiate contempt proceedings against the Centre for not constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) within the stipulated period of six weeks. These agreements will remain in force despite the fact that the Reorganization Act, 1956, has taken effect, the order stated.

At an earlier hearing on May 3, Tamil Nadu had accused the NDA government of playing "politics" over the river's waters to gain mileage ahead of the May 12 Karnataka elections. The states would contribute a matching amount together in the ratio of Kerala, 15 per cent, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka 40 per cent each and the Union territory of Puducherry 5 per cent. It was notified by the government in 2013. It would have an "eminent engineer" as chairman, two full-time and two part-time members each to be appointed by the Centre (from the water resources and agriculture ministries) and four part-time members to be represented by the four states.

The matter will be heard next on 16 May.

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