The Supreme Court on Friday accepted the Centre’s draft scheme on sharing of the Cauvery’s water that was submitted on May 14. The Centre had submitted the draft after several delays that prompted the court to issue warnings. The scheme, once finalised, will regulate the amount of water released from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The Cauvery dispute has been going on for 22 years now. In February, the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 177.25 tmcft [thousand million cubic feet] of water fom the river every year to Tamil Nadu. This is less than the 192 tmcft of water that the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal allotted Tamil Nadu in 2007. Both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had moved the Supreme Court against the ruling.

The apex court rejected recommendations of the Karnataka and Kerala governments, saying they were devoid of merit, PTI reported. The top court also dismissed Tamil Nadu’s petition to initiate contempt proceedings against the Centre for delays in finalising the scheme.

The Centre told the Supreme Court on May 3 that it had failed to meet the deadline for framing the draft because Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers were busy with preparations for the May 12 Assembly elections in Karnataka. This earned the government a rebuke from the court.

On May 15, the court rejected the Karnataka government’s request to delay the finalisation of the scheme.