Centre's bid to buy more time for draft scheme goes in vain

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ANI reported that Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted to the Supreme Court that the Cauvery Management Board draft has to be tabled before the Union Cabinet, and that the draft isn't approved yet because the prime minister is in Karnataka now, campaigning for the upcoming Assembly election in the state.

The apex court said Karnataka must release water in April-May and warned the state government of "consequences" if it did not comply with the order, News18 reported.

Even as the DMK activists were waving black flags and hurling stones at the union minister, a delegation of Tamil film personalities called on Governor Banwarilal Purohit and submitted a memorandum requesting him to hasten the process of the constitution of the CMB as the State was facing severe water shortage.

The Supreme Court has also asked the Centre to file an affidavit regarding the matter, scheduling the next hearing for May 8.

The bench directed Karnataka to release 177.25 TMC of water, instead of the 192 TMC to Tamil Nadu.

Various political parties, including DMK, had staged black flag protests across Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery issue during the one-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.

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The apex court, in its verdict, had asked the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute.

On April 9, the top court criticised the Centre and asked it to frame a draft scheme by May 3 for implementation of its February 16 judgment.

The petition was filed against the Union Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha and Water Resources Secy UP Singh.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra directed the Centre to apprise the court on May 8 on the steps taken for setting up of Cauvery Management Board and sternly asked the Karnataka government to see how much water can be released to Tamil Nadu.

The Central government's top lawyer told the Supreme Court that the delay in setting up the CMB was for procedural reasons.