Chennai : On Friday when the Supreme Court settled once and for all a dispute – spawning several decades – over the sharing of Cauvery River water principally between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, by reworking the figures recommended by the Cauvery River Water Sharing Disputes Tribunal, it evoked a sense of disappointment across the political spectrum in the lower riparian state.
While the AIADMK government was yet to come up with an official reaction, its ministers including Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam expressed disappointment that the quantum of water to be supplied has been reduced to 177.25 tmc ft, which was 14.5 tmc ft lesser than what was recommended by the tribunal in its final order delivered seven years ago.
“The government will comment on the judgment after going through its pros and cons. In the meantime, we are determined to ensure that the 177.25 tmc ft awarded by the Supreme Court reaches Tamil Nadu in future,” said Panneerselvam.
As expected, the ruling party and its principal rival the DMK were caught in a slang match over who must share the blame for the reduced quantum of water and the prolonging of the Cauvery dispute.
DMK working president M K Stalin accused the government of not doing enough to get the apex court to uphold the tribunal’s verdict in toto. Panneerselvam reacted saying it was former CM M Karunanidhi who had compromised the state’s right on Cauvery in the past.
In a late evening statement, Tamil Nadu CM EK Palaniswami expressed disappointment over the verdict. However, he pointed out that the court had accepted Tamil Nadu’s position on many aspects and the State Government fought hard for its rights.
Reacting to the decision, P.R. Pandian, a farmer leader, said, “In a way, this is a historical judgment where the apex court has said no state can claim ownership over a river. The central government should now nationalise the rivers.”
He said though the reduction in Tamil Nadu’s share of water would impact the farmlands in the state’s Cauvery delta region, the central government should take steps to implement the judgment and see that Tamil Nadu gets its share of water.
“Higher allocation of water can be sought from the Cauvery River Water Management Board once it is set up. The central government should set up the board soon,” Pandian said.
“We welcome the judgment. The government should set up the Cauvery River Water Management Board. The reduction in Tamil Nadu’s water share can be managed,” S. Ranganathan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, told IANS.
He had filed the case in the apex court first. “When I filed the case I was 45 years old and now, I am 82,” he added.
Kamal for unity
CHENNAI: Film star Kamal Haasan, who is set to embark on his political journey, on Friday appealed to both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain amity in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement on sharing of Cauvery waters between the two states, reports PTI.
CHENNAI: ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth said the Supreme Court verdict reducing the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu from Cauvery river was “very disappointing” and urged the state to file a review petition. “Since the final verdict by Supreme Court on Cauvery amounts to further affecting the livelihood of the farmers in Tamil Nadu, it is very disappointing,” he said.