In a major step towards implementation of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), 2007, the Union government has notified Cauvery Water (Implementation of the Order of 2007) Scheme, 2013. The notice was issued on Wednesday.

Under the scheme, the Ministry of Water Resources notified the formation of a supervisory committee headed by the Water Resources Secretary, with Chief Secretaries of the Cauvery basin States/Union Territory (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala) as members. The Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman shall also be a member, while the CWC’s chief engineer will be the Member-Secretary.

The scheme — notified as a “purely temporary measure” — will be in place until the Cauvery Management Board, as envisaged in the award, is constituted.

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 have its headquarters in New Delhi.

As per the notification of the final award in February, the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), headed by the Prime Minister, and the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC), chaired by the Water Resources Secretary, no longer exist.

Both were formed on the Supreme Court’s orders to monitor the implementation of the interim orders of the tribunal.

The current notification of the ‘scheme’ follows apex court orders. In its interim order on May 10, 2013, it 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.”

The Tamil Nadu government had moved court seeking appropriate directions to the Centre in the matter.

According to informed sources, the first meeting of the supervisory committee is likely to be convened in June first week.

Jayalalithaa’s letter

Last week, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to constitute a Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to give effect to the CWDT award, which prescribes sharing of the waters by the basin States.

Supervisory committee to oversee its implementation