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Cauvery protests: SC tells Centre to draft CMB plan by May 3; 10 highlights

Actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, along with others, participated in a silent protest in Chennai over the Cauvery Management Board and Modi govt's callous attitude in handling Cauvery water dispute

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Cauvery Mangement Board
Chennai: Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan and Dhanush take part in protest over demand for formation of Cauvery Mangement Board. Photo: ANI

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to formulate and file the draft Cauvery management scheme before it by May 3 and directed the authorities in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other stakeholders to ensure peace in the meantime. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it had considered the award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) while deciding the water share of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry in its judgment. .

The Bench, also comprising judges A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said its judgment had to be complied with by all stakeholders. The court said the authorities were required to ensure peace till it perused the draft scheme and finalised it for proper distribution of the Cauvery water.

The state has accused the Centre of not “protecting the interests of farmers and the larger interests of the state”. The February 16 Supreme Court judgment in the Cauvery appeals had directed the Centre to frame the scheme in six weeks. The deadline ended on March 29. On the eve of the deadline, the Centre moved the Supreme Court for a three-month extension in the deadline to implement the judgment, as Assembly elections are scheduled for May 12 in Karnataka.

Here are the top 10 developments on the and the row over setting up of the (CMB):

1. SC to hear Centre and Tamil Nadu petitions today: A petition filed by Tamil Nadu said, "this plea was filed to “protect the interests of the farmers and the larger interests of the State”. “The central government was duty bound to take steps to facilitating implementation of the judgment by itself deciding and taking necessary action to constitute the machinery as per the mandate…”, it said, and added that “it (Centre) has not taken any concrete steps in this regard.”

2. Rajinikanth backs opposition of IPL in Chennai: Rajinikanth said it would be good if organisers stopped the games as such a gala event would be embarrassing when the entire Tamil Nadu was agitating. He suggested (CSK) team players could play in the city wearing black bands as a mark of expressing the anguish of people who have been staging protests demanding setting up of "Playing IPL matches here when whole of Tamil Nadu is agitating for Cauvery (management board) will be an embarrassment," he told reporters referring to the opposition from different quarters to the event.

3. Rajinikanth, observe silent protest with actors: Rajinikanth, actors Kamal Hassan and Vijay, along with other actors and film personalities, participated in a silent protest in Chennai. The Tamil Film Producers' Council (TFPC), South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA), Film Employees' Federation of South India (FEFSI) and Distributors' Association had announced that the silent protest would be held in Valluvar Kottam area on Sunday. Top actors, including SIAA president and actor Nasser, Film Producers' Council president and actor Vishal, actors Dhanush and Sathyaraj, directors Shankar and Vikraman and actor-director S A Chandrasekar also participated in the protest.
4. Press Centre for CMB, Puducherry CM tells AIADMK: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy hit out at the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu for criticising the Congress on the Cauvery issue instead of mounting pressure on the Centre to set up the (CMB). "It is amusing to see Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and others from the AIADMK criticising the Congress on the river water issue. This criticism is absolutely not acceptable," he said.
5. IPL matches likely to be held in Kerala amid Cauvery river water row: The matches that could be held in Kerala include those involving (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) - to be held in Chennai and Bengaluru. Kerala Cricket Association Jayesh George told the media on Sunday that talks for these changes have already begun. "CSK CEO K.S. Viswanathan spoke to me about this and today top officials of the BCCI and IPL, including Amitabh Choudhary and Rajeev Shukla, also talked to me.
"We have expressed our willingness to stage IPL matches in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. We will hear from them in the next few days," he said.
6. Tamil Nadu youth protest in Delhi over Cauvery issue: A group of youths from Tamil Nadu who stay in the capital on Sunday took out a protest march alleging the BJP-led Centre was delaying the setting up of a to make electoral "gains" in the upcoming Assembly polls in Karnataka.
The march began around 3 pm from the Rajiv Chowk metro station and concluded on the Parliament Street.
"Crop failure due to poor rainfall in the catchment area has resulted in drought in the Cauvery delta regions of Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court had given directions to frame schemes to properly distribute Cauvery water between states. However, the Centre is delaying the process keeping in mind the forthcoming assembly election in Karnataka," the Delhi Tamil Youth Forum Forum, which is spearheading the protest, said in a statement.
7. Supreme Court ruling on Cauvery water dispute: The apex court had on February 16 raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”. It also directed the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement on water dispute. It further modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.

8. History of the Cauvery water dispute: Owing the geographic peculiarities of the State, Tamil Nadu has been dependent on water from the rivers in Karnataka and Kerala for a long time now. The dispute between Tamil Nadu and these two states also has a long history.
Differences between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on sharing of water in the Cauvery river, which is one of the main sources of water for irrigation in the agricultural lands of the Cauvery delta, have been in existence from the time of two agreements signed during the period of British government ruling the country.
Two agreements were signed between the then Madras Presidency and the State of Mysore, in 1892 and 1924. Karnataka claimed that the water allocated to it from the river was inadequate and that the agreements favoured the Madras Presidency. Tamil Nadu has time and again claimed that the irrigated land in the State has increased over a period of time and the entire region is dependent on the water from the river for agriculture and survival.
9. What is the agitation for? Tamil Nadu, which witnessed State-wide protests over the ban on jallikattu in January last year, is again in agitation mode. On Thursday, the Opposition parties, led by the DMK, organised a bandh against the Centre’s failure to frame a scheme to implement the Cauvery water-sharing agreement set out in the February 16 judgment. Last Saturday, the AIADMK government moved the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the Centre for its “wilful disobedience” in not implementing the verdict.
10. Why did the Centre not address the demand for setting up of the Citing the Assembly elections in Karnataka and describing the Cauvery as a “very emotive issue” in that State, the Centre told the Supreme Court, the notification of a scheme at this juncture “would lead to massive public outrage, vitiate the election process and cause serious law and order problems.” Seeking three more months, it wanted to know whether an implementation mechanism could be a “mixture of administrative and technical body,” and could have functions, different from what had been recommended by the Tribunal in the February 2007 order.

First Published: Mon, April 09 2018. 13:58 IST