SC to hear TN plea for Cauvery board

The Supreme Court will hear a plea filed by Tamil Nadu for setting up a Cauvery monitoring board to implement the 2007 Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award on December 3. 

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice P Sathasivam decided to hear the application, also filed in view of Karnataka’s plan to build a hydro-power station at Mekedatu and three reservoirs. 

Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, representing Tamil Nadu, mentioned the matter before the court.



He said the petition seeking direction to the Union government to constitute the Cauvery monitoring board was in conformity with the decision of the tribunal.

Taking into consideration his plea, the bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh, fixed the application for hearing.

The application sought direction for strictly implementing the tribunal’s award contending that the Karnataka government proposed to start new schemes which were not contemplated in the final award to utilise the river water.

It referred to Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 2, pointing out Karnataka’s plan to construct a hydro-power station at Mekedatu.
Three reservoirs proposed near Mekedatu were to be built across the river, which was illegal, besides it would also affect irrigation in Tamil Nadu, the application alleged.

Seeking direction

The plea also challenged Karnataka’s stand that there was no impediment in executing the scheme of construction of a reservoir as the final order has been notified.

“In a federal structure, no upper riparian state can unilaterally interfere with the natural flow of an inter-state river without the consent and concurrence of the lower riparian state,” it said.

The Supreme Court in August refused to pass any order on a plea made by Tamil Nadu seeking direction to the Centre for setting up the Cauvery management board and regulation committee, in view of the bountiful rain during the south-west monsoon.

In its plea filed in March, Tamil Nadu sought direction to the Centre to constitute the Cauvery management board as contained in the final order of February 5, 2007, by the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal and notified on February 19 this year.

The court had then fixed the petition challenging the tribunal’s order for hearing in the third week of January next year.