August 11, 2016
Thanjavur: The farmers’ associations and farm workers’ association, affiliated to the two Left parties, have called for a one-day bandh and picketing in six districts of the Cauvery delta region on August 19, urging the Centre to get 70 tmc ft water from Karnataka, which is due for Tamil Nadu.
Their demands also include the immediate constitution of the Cauvery Monitoring Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, as directed, to protect the rights of Tamil Nadu in the water issue.
A decision to this effect was made in the consultative meeting of the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association and Agriculture Workers Associations, affiliated to the CPI-M and the CPI, in Thanjavur today.
Addressing the media persons, the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association (affiliated to CPM) state president, K. Balakrishnan said that, in the last 10 years, the Mettur dam was opened on the scheduled date of June 12 for delta irrigation only twice – in 2008 and 2011. For the fifth consecutive year, Kuruvai cultivation was not taken up in the delta region because the water was not released from the Mettur dam on the scheduled date, he said.
He added that Karnataka refuses to release water due for Tamil Nadu despite the fact that all the dams in Karnataka now have sufficient storage position. He also accused the central government of not taking any action to implement the Cauvery water tribunal’s final verdict, despite the tribunal’s verdict appearing in the Gazette on February 19, 2013.
With Karnataka refusing to release water, the fate of samba cultivation too has now become uncertain for the farmers in the delta region. Balakrishnan informed that therefore, bandh and picketing will be organized in the six districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Tiruchy, Cuddalore, and Pudukottai, on August 19.