New Delhi, Apr 9: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to frame a draft scheme by May 3 for implementation of its earlier judgment on distribution of Cauvery water between Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry. The apex court also asked Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to maintain peace in their respective states till it finalises the scheme for implementation of its judgment.

The top court also criticised the Centre for neither framing the scheme in six weeks as directed by it nor approaching the court prior to the March 31 deadline to convey that it had difficulties. “You have to frame the scheme and there is no escaping this task,” the court reportedly told the Centre. The court also said it will take the views of the state of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala before approving the draft scheme framed by the Centre.

The draft scheme includes the setting up of the Cauvery Water Management Board and Monitoring Authority for ensuring monthly releases. The SC was hearing the Centre’s plea seeking clarification on the February 16 verdict. The Supreme Court on February 16 reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water from 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), which was less than the 192 TMC allocated by a tribunal in 2007, while Karnataka’s share of water was increased by 14.75 TMC.

The top court also ordered the central government to set up the Cauvery Management Board within six weeks of its order, but the government failed to do so within the deadline that ended on March 29. Tamil Nadu has been witnessing protests over the Central government’s failure to set up a Cauvery Management Board.