Despite opposition from Karnataka, the Central government constituted the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee on Friday as per the provisions in the Cauvery Management Scheme laid down by the Supreme Court.
The nine-member committee is designed to have representatives from four states of the Cauvery basin - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry. Navin Kumar, Chief Engineer of the Central Water Commission will head the committee.
The Committee will assist the Cauvery Management Authority, which was also constituted by the Centre, to implement the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award as modified by the SC.
While the Authority will be headquartered in New Delhi, the Committee will have its headquarters in Bengaluru and will be formed without a representative from Karnataka. The Karnataka government refused to nominate a representative to the committee until its grievances are heard.
Both the Authority and Committee were formed as per a notification issued by the Centre on June 1.
In its February 16 order, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to draft a scheme within six weeks.
Tamil Nadu had moved the apex court accusing the Centre of contempt of court when the six-week window ended to frame the scheme.
After being pulled up by the Supreme Court, the Centre submitted a draft of the scheme. In May, the top court approved the Cauvery Water Management Scheme, framed under Section 6A of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy confirmed that the state will decide its next course of action after discussing with Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar reported Times of India.
Karnataka had staunchly opposed the formation of the committee as it will take away its control over three reservoirs that fall under the Cauvery river basin. It had also pointed out that there was no mention of the river management board and only a ‘scheme’ is mentioned in the February 16 Supreme Court order.
The February 16 order had awarded 14.75 tmc ft additional water to Karnataka.