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The central government has gone ahead with the constitution of the Cauvery Management Authority despite Karnataka government not nominating its representative. The centre has nominated the water resources secretary of the state government of Karnataka as a member and another state official as a member of the regulation committee. This has led to the prospects of further legal wrangles and doubts over whether, in the absence of the authority having the mandate to control the dams, the authority will be able to get its orders implemented. “We welcome this announcement by the central government. We trust that if the Karnataka government refuses to implement the authority’s orders, the centre will step in and ensure its implementation,” says P R Pandian, a Delta farmers leader.

DMK leader and lawyer K S Radhakrishnan says: “If the centre had shown speed before the Karnataka elections on this issue, we would have been in a better situation,” he adds.

Observers ask if this is a political ruse to curtail the functioning of the Karnataka government headed by an opposition alliance. “It raises the question of whether the centre is trying to encroach upon state rights,” he adds.

Retired PWD chief engineer A Veerappan says: “The authority has nine members. The Cauvery Water Regulation Committee has five members. Karnataka will have to abide by the majority’s decisions in the authority. The centre can take action against the Karnataka government if it doesn’t comply. Not announcing its members is only Karnataka’s loss,” he said.

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