It was a day of protests in Tamil Nadu on Monday against the Central government’s failure to set up a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) despite a Supreme Court order.
Activists of the DMK and other organisations staged noisy demonstrations protests here and in other parts of the state.
DMK members protested at several places in the city including the arterial Anna Salai stretch in Saidapet, disrupting traffic.
In Coimbatore, around 500 km from here, DMK members stopped a train by squatting on train tracks. The party and its allies have called for a shutdown on April 5 over the Cauvery issue.
Members of some fringe organisations picketed post offices and Central government offices in the state. In Mannargudi, students protested outside their colleges. The Centre has failed to set up the Cauvery Management Board within six weeks of the Supremem court’s order of February 16. The six-week deadline ended on March 29. Tamil Nadu political leaders say the BJP is acting in favour of Karnataka, which is opposed to the CMB and where Assembly elections are due.
The DMK has said black flags would be shown to Prime Minister Narendra Modi whenever he comes to Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, police in Thiruvannamalai rounded up several youths who showed black flags to BJP Tamil Nadu cief Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday.
According to reports reaching here, Puducherry’s Lt.Governor Kiran Bedi has written to Modi to constitute the CMB in the interests of people of the Union Territory.
SC to hear TN Cauvery plea next Monday
The Supreme Court will hear on next Monday (April 9) Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking contempt proceedings against the Central government for its “wilful disobedience” in carrying out its direction to set-up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) as directed by the top court. “We will hear it on Monday and resolve the issue,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said after Advocate G. Umapathy, appearing for the Tamil Nadu government, mentioned the matter for an early hearing.
The Chief Justice assured that it will ensure that Tamil Nadu gets its allocation of Cauvery water. He also said that the “scheme” for the implementation of modified 2007 tribunal order does not mean the CMB alone. Tamil Nadu government had moved the top court on March 31 seeking contempt action against the Central government for its failure to constitute the CMB and the CWRC as directed by the top court by its February 16 judgment.
At the same time, the Central government too moved the Supreme Court by filing a clarification petition and asking for three months for implementing its judgment in view of the May assembly elections in Karnataka. It had said that due to divergent views expressed by four governments – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Ketrala and Puducherry – on the “framing of the scheme”, it is felt that if any scheme was framed by the Central government by itself, the states may again approach the court.
It had cited the stands of Kerala and Karnataka governments that any scheme proposed under the inter-state water disputes act should first be shared with them before its notification.
“To avoid further litigation by the states in the constitution and functions of the board, it is felt that clarification from the honourable Supreme Court is considered necessary.”
Meanwhile, apart from seeking initiation of contempt action against the Central government, Tamil Nadu has sought direction to it to constitute the board and the committee with all powers to enforce the tribunal award and the judgment of the court as well. The state contended that the Central government was “bound to give effect to the judgment by framing a scheme so that the authorities under the Scheme are put in place within six weeks and the decision of the Tribunal as modified by this Hon’ble Court is implemented”.
The top court by its February 16 verdict had reduced the Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water from 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), which was less than 192 TMC allocated by a tribunal in 2007. On the other hand, Karnataka’s share of water was increased by 14.75 TMC.
“We direct that a scheme shall be framed by the Central Government within a span of six weeks from today so that the authorities under the scheme can see to it that the present decision which has modified the award passed by the Tribunal is smoothly made functional and the rights of the states as determined by us are appositely carried out,” the top court had said, adding there would no extension of time given for the purpose.