Cauvery Body could be judicial, administrative: Water Secretary

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NEW DELHI, APR 10,
The proposed arrangement to apportion Cauvery waters could be a “judicial or even administrative board,” according to U.P. Singh, Secretary, Union Water Resources Ministry.
“Whether it’s called a Cauvery Management Board or an Authority doesn’t really matter,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference here on Tuesday.
His comments come a day after the Supreme Court reprimanded the Centre for not putting in place a scheme to ensure water from the river is distributed among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry in line with the its orders.
The apex court has directed the Centre to submit a draft scheme by May 3. Mr. Singh said that there was now clarity on the constitution of the members of the scheme. He also said there wouldn’t be fresh discussions with states as everyone’s views were already communicated. The Cauvery water disputes tribunal in an earlier order had said that the Cauvery Management Board ought headed by an engineer with atleast 20 years of experience.
Another official told The Hindu that the matter still pending before the Water ministry was on “defining” the powers of the various members of the proposed Board. “After the SC verdict of February, we got representations from all concerned States. So everyone’s concerns have to be accommodated and the power of members need to be defined.”
The three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra expressed its disappointment over the Centre’s lack of resolve to play its part in ending the water conflict between neighbours, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
A February 16 judgment of the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to frame the scheme by March 29. Yet, on the eve of the deadline, the Centre moved the court seeking another three months to finish the task. This would have taken it well past the Karnataka Assembly election scheduled on May 12.

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