After the Centre submitted the draft Cauvery management scheme in the Supreme Court today, the Tamil Nadu government expressed hope that the court will give a favourable verdict on May 16 on the inter-state river dispute.
The opposition DMK reiterated its demand for setting up of an empowered Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to implement the court order on the river-water sharing between the stakeholders - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
"I hope there will be a good verdict on May 16," he told reporters, apparently referring to the Supreme Court saying today that it would consider and approve the scheme that day.
He said Tamil Nadu's demand was that the CMB and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee should be set up, and recalled the AIADMK's legal struggle on this issue.
Palaniswami's deputy O Panneerselvam said former chief ministers M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa had struggled to secure Tamil Nadu's interests on the complex issue.
Earlier today, the Centre submitted to the apex court the draft Cauvery management scheme, to ensure smooth distribution of water between the states concerned, with the dispute having turned a key point of contention between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for years.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, took on record the draft scheme submitted by the Union water resource secretary and said it would peruse it.
"We need to examine whether the said scheme is in consonance with our judgement," the bench said, adding it would consider and approve the scheme on May 16.
The top court on May 8 had summoned the secretary to appear before it today with the draft scheme and warned the Centre it was in "sheer contempt" of the February 16 verdict by not framing the Cauvery management scheme on river water sharing between the four southern riparian states till now.
Reiterating his party's stand on constitution of the CMB, he urged the ruling AIADMK to convene a meeting of all political parties and farmers' unions tomorrow to discuss the matter.
"People of Tamil Nadu and farmers in the (Cauvery) delta region expect the setting up of an empowered CMB and safeguard the state's rights," he said in a statement and urged the state government to put forth effective arguments on May 16 to win its case.
Tamil Nadu should insist that the Centre set up the CMB, he added.
MDMK founder Vaiko said the "question mark that remains is" whether any new panel would be an empowered one.
He also proposed to have a possible meeting with the next Karnataka chief minister on the issue and hoped for some solution since the head of that state "may be from any party, but he is also human."
The apex court on February 16 asked the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute.
It had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it would not extend time for this on any grounds.
The top court had then 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".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)