The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to form the Cauvery Management Board within six weeks.

Karnataka to oppose formation of Cauvery Management Board CM SiddaramaiahPTI/File
news Cauvery water dispute Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 11:27

A day after the Supreme Court gave “partial relief” to Karnataka by awarding an additional 14.75 TMC of Cauvery water to the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday announced that it will oppose the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.  

“We strongly oppose the formation of the board by the Centre.” the Chief Minister told reporters.

In its order, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to form the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) within six weeks. The CMB will manage the release of water, and ensure that the court’s orders are implemented.

Speaking against the board, MLC Ugrappa argued that since the CMB will be headed by Centre-nominated chairman and two members, and one representative each from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry (UT), it is unlikely that Karnataka will get a “favourable” decision.

“Karnataka is unlikely to get a favourable decision from the proposed board since majority of its members will be nominees of the Centre and lower riparian States,” The Hindu quoted the MLC as saying.

Even farmer leaders had expressed their apprehensions over the board.

"We are happy that Karnataka has got some relief, but if the Cauvery Management Board comes into existence, then we will lose ownership of four dams which we have built with our money and effort for the benefit of the farmers. We have to wait for the judgment copy for further comments," Kurubhara Shanthakumar of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha told TNM after Friday’s verdict.

However, some experts are of the opinion that there is no option for the state but to be a part of the CMB as it is the norm for every award to be enforced by some authority.

Irrigation expert Captain Raja Rao told The New Indian Express, “When we have representation on it, why should we be concerned? We can always present our point of view before the board. An impartial and independent agency will be monitoring the award. We have been part of such an authority — the Tungabhadra Board — for many years. Have they taken our dams?”

CM Siddaramaiah had on Friday evening stated that the Cauvery verdict “was not a victory” for Karnataka but a “partial relief”, saying that the verdict was “not fully” in accordance with the state’s pleas. Initially, following news that Karnataka would have to release 177.25 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu against the earlier 192 TMC, Siddaramaiah had said, “I am happy with the verdict.”

Speaking on the matter of the Board, Siddaramaiah had then said, “The matter is upto the government of India. It has not been considered by the Supreme Court.”