The ramifications of the draft scheme were discussed at length at a high-level meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The meeting was attended by senior cabinet ministers, officials from various departments including the PWD. Sources said the CM had telephonic conversations with the senior counsel and the battery of lawyers representing the state in the apex court.
“During the conversations, the CM has given instructions on as to how to go about in the case to the counsel and to assert the views of the state as called for by the Supreme Court,” said a senior official.
“Our stand is that the state should get its share of 177.25 tmc of water as awarded in the modified ruling of the SC. For this, the proposed organisation should have such teeth to implement the orders of the SC. We would pitch for the draft scheme to be amended in a suitable way,” the official explained.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, in its verdict, has directed a board based on the model of Bhakra-Beas as a permanent solution.
As per the Bhakra-Beas Management Board, the assets would be under the control of the organisation as against the proposed model whereas the draft has reduced the authority of the organisation to a supervisory body. Sources said this would also be taken up during the hearing.
The Opposition has insisted the state not to settle for anything less than the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), the only organisation that can ensure water release from Karnataka.
Leader of Opposition MK Stalin has sought the ruling AIADMK to give a fitting reply and urge in the Supreme Court that no alternative to the CMB could be accepted. Delta farmers have strongly opposed the draft scheme and wanted constitution an all-powerful CMB in conformity with the final verdict of the SC and the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and to secure the riparian rights of the state.
Assembly session from May 29
The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has been convened to meet on May 29 as per the orders of the Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal. The ensuing sitting would vote on demand for grants of the state departments as moved by the respective Ministers and in tune with the Budget presented for the current fiscal 2018-2019.
A notification regarding the Assembly Session was issued by Assembly Secretary K Srinivasan on Tuesday. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and their senior colleagues in the cabinet had been brainstorming over the conduct of the session. Apart from this, the CM has also been in touch with the Speaker over the session and the state’s requirements.
“The House will be in session for around 20 working days. The length of the session is exclusively decided by the BAC which would meet on the invitation from the Speaker who will also chair the Committee,” said a senior official from the Secretariat.
The first day of the session would have the resolutions sponsored by the government and the debate on demand too would be taken right away on that day.