In a major step forward towards the implementation of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), 2007, the Centre on Friday notified a temporary Cauvery Water (Implementation of the Order of 2007) Scheme, 2013.
Under the Scheme, the Ministry of Water Resources has notified the formation of a Supervisory Committee headed by the Water Resources Secretary with Chief Secretaries of the Cauvery basin states (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala) as members. The Chairman of the Central Water Commission shall also be a member, while the Chief Engineer of the CWC will be the Member-Secretary.
This scheme is a “purely temporary measure” until a permanent Scheme namely the Cauvery Management Board as recommended by the Cauvery tribunal order of February 5, 2007, is considered and constituted.
The role of the Committee shall be to give effect to the implementation of the CWDT award. In case of any “difficulty” the Chairman of the Committee and, if necessary, any of the parties may apply to the Supreme Court for appropriate directions with notices to other States. The panel will be headquartered in New Delhi.
With the notification of the final award in February, 2013, the Cauvery River Authority, headed by the Prime Minister and the Cauvery Monitoring Committee chaired by the Water Resources Secretary, no longer exist. Both the panels were formed on the orders of the Supreme Court--which is hearing the matter of the Cauvery award as well as the mechanism for implementation-to monitor the implementation of the interim orders of the tribunal.
The notification of the ‘Scheme’ and the formation of the ‘Supervisory Committee’ is as per the orders of the apex court, which, in its interim order on May 10, 2013, directed the Centre “to constitute a Supervisory Committee for implementation of the final order of the CWDT dated February 5, 2007, as notified on February 19, 2013.”
According to sources the first meeting of the Supervisory Committee is likely to be convened in the first week of June 1.
Last week Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to constitute the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to give effect to the award of the CWDT.
The Cauvery award prescribes the sharing of Cauvery waters between the basin states.