Cauvery Water Issue: At last, a scheme : The Hindu Editorial

Cauvery Water Issue: At last, a scheme : The Hindu Editorial

Cauvery Water Issue: At last, a scheme : The Hindu Editorial

Cauvery basin States must quickly agree on an authority to apply the water-sharing award.

Now that the Karnataka election is over, the Centre has finally mustered (gather together) the courage to submit a draft scheme in the Supreme Court to implement the final decision on apportioning (divide up and share out) the Cauvery waters among the riparian (relating to or situated on the banks of a river) States. The draft, which gives no name for the authority it proposes to create to monitor implementation of the Cauvery Tribunal’s final award, as modified by the Supreme Court, has been largely drawn from the Tribunal’s directions. It will be a two-tier structure, with an apex body charged with the power to ensure compliance (the act of submitting) with the final award, and a regulation committee that will monitor the field situation and water flow. The powers and functions of the authority are fairly comprehensive. Its powers would extend to apportionment (distribution), regulation and control of Cauvery waters, supervision of operations of reservoirs and regulation of water releases. The draft makes the authority’s decisions final and binding. However, there is an ambiguous (not clear or decided) clause: if the authority finds that any one of the States is not cooperative, it can seek the Centre’s help, and the Centre’s decision will be final and binding. This can be seen either as an enabling clause to resolve the situation when there is a stand-off, or as one that gives scope to the Centre to intervene on behalf of one State. To allay (lessen) apprehensions (nervousness) of the Centre acting in a partisan (biased) manner, it would be better if it is not given the final say, but mandated to help in the implementation of the Tribunal’s award at all times.

There are a few differences between the Cauvery Management Board envisaged (foresee/conceived as a desirable future event) by the Tribunal and the authority proposed in the scheme. The Tribunal favoured the chairperson being an irrigation engineer with not less than 20 years of experience in water resources management, whereas the scheme says the chairperson could be a senior and eminent engineer with wide experience in water resources management or an officer in the rank of Secretary or Additional Secretary to the Union government. Similarly, the representatives from the four States would be administrators rather than engineers as proposed by the Tribunal. It is possible that Karnataka and Tamil Nadu may have differing views on the nature and powers of the authority, as well as its name and composition. But it is vital that all States accept the mechanism, and that the authority itself have adequate autonomy. The Cauvery dispute has dragged on for several decades, and it would be unfortunate if the implementation of a final decision arrived at through rigorous (extremely thorough and careful) adjudication is not monitored by an independent authority. All States should agree to the broad contours (outline) of this scheme and comply with the authority’s decisions. The most welcome feature of such a mechanism is that an issue concerning the livelihood of thousands of farmers will be taken out of the political domain and entrusted to experts.


1. Muster (Verb) – To gather together (इकट्ठा करना)/A formal gathering of troops
Synonyms – Congregate, Assemble, Convene, Mass , Foregather.
Antonyms – Disperse.

2. Riparian (Adjective) Relating to or situated on the banks of a river (नदी तट)

3. Compliance (Noun) – Obedience to Someone or Something (अनुपालन)/the act of submitting
Synonyms – Accordance with, Observance of, Adherence to, Conformity to.
Antonyms – Violation, Infringement.

4. Apportionment (Noun) – Distribution of Something (आबंटन)
Synonyms – Sharing, Division, Allocation, Allotment, Assigning, Dispensation.
Antonymns – Misallocate, Deny

5. Ambiguous (Adjective) – not clear or decided (अस्पष्ट)
Synonyms – Equivocal, Ambivalent, Arguable, Debatable.
Antonyms – Unambiguous, Clear.

6. Allay (Verb) – Diminish or put at rest (घटाना)
Synonyms – Lessen, Assuage, Alleviate, Soothe.
Antonyms -Intensify.

7. Apprehensions (Noun) – Nervousness (शंका)
Synonyms – Anxiety, Angst, Tension, Unease, Misgiving, Disquiet, Agitation, Edginess, Fidgetiness, Trepidation, Perturbation, Consternation.
Antonyms – Confidence.

8. Partisan (Adjective) – Prejudiced in favour of a particular cause. (पक्षधर)
Synonyms – Biased, Prejudiced, One-sided, Unjust, Inequitable, Unbalanced.
Antonyms – Impartial, Unbiased.

9. Envisage (Verb) – Contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event (संभावना का ध्यान करना)
Synonyms – Foresee, Predict, Forecast, Foretell, Anticipate, Expect, Envision.

10. Rigorous (Adjective) Extremely thorough and careful (कड़ा)
Synonyms – Meticulous, Punctilious, Conscientious, Diligent, Attentive, Scrupulous, Studious, exhaustive, mathematical, detailed, perfectionist, methodical, particular, religious, strict.
Antonyms – Slapdash, Lax , Gentle , Mild.

11. Contours (Noun) – Outline of something (परिरेखा)
Synonyms – Silhouette, Profile, Shape, Form.

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