A fresh deadline: on framing Cauvery scheme

• The Court on Monday conveyed a very strong word to Centre saying that it cannot evade its legal obligation to create a mechanism to implement the SC’s final verdict in the Cauvery Dispute. The centre has been asked to demonstrate its bona fides by submitting a draft scheme for the court’s consideration by May 3.

• This was when it admonished the government for failing to frame a scheme within the six week time limit given earlier.

• It is obvious that a decree on the sharing of water requires a mechanism to give effect to it. It is an evasion of responsibility on the Centre’s part to set off a round of litigation just to determine the nature of such a mechanism.

• It is a matter of satisfaction that the apex court has indicated that it will pass a binding order soon. The Centre should redeem itself by complying with the latest order.

• The ambiguity over whether ‘scheme’ refers to or differs from the ‘Cauvery Management Board’ envisaged in the Cauvery Tribunal’s order has caused great disquiet in Tamil Nadu.

• This raises the question whether the court should have allowed an element of ambiguity in its judgment by referring to a ‘scheme’, while not expressly modifying the portion of the Tribunal’s order that talks of a ‘Cauvery Management Board’ and a ‘Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’.

• This is why even the court’s appeal for peace has not assuaged sentiments in Tamil Nadu, where tempers are soaring in some quarters.

• Unfortunately, a fringe has taken centre stage, focussing almost their entire protest on the Indian Premier League tournament. As a political tactic, threatening a hugely popular cricket tournament is bound to attract national attention.

• If this is what some of the protestors wanted, then they have succeeded in their objective, even if this has come at the cost of some disruption.

• However, targeting the IPL is irrational. If the premise is that fun and entertainment are inappropriate in this time of crisis, why pick on one tournament alone?

• Moreover, IPL matches have nothing to do with the Cauvery dispute; more importantly, they have nothing to with either the Centre or the State.

• Choosing a soft target may bring high visibility, but it makes no sense to mix a serious inter-State dispute with sport and entertainment — certainly not in a disruptive and violent manner.

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