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29 Sep 2020, Edition - 1904, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

SC order on Cauvery waters sparks angry protests in Karnataka

Covai Post Network

War over Cauvery waters sharing escalated on Tuesday as Karnataka farmers take to street in violent protests, asking why they were denied water for farming while TN farmers were given water by the Supreme Court.

Chennai: Neighboring Karnataka erupted in protests over Supreme Court directive asking it to give 15,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu within 10 days.

Interestingly, in Tamil Nadu too, farmers were unhappy over the SC decision saying that it was too little too late and that this water would hardly help them. It is woefully inadequate said farmers association representatives who want the TN government to fight it out further in the apex court.

They hold Karnataka government and Tamil Nadu government also equally responsible for their woes.

If not tackled properly, there could be farmers suicides in the delta region of Tamil Nadu warned DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan. He told a television channel that the ruling party should take the lead and get an all party meeting over the issue and lobby with the central government for justice to Tamil Nadu and its people.

But, the SC decision has sparked off angry and violent protests in Karnataka and more specifically in the border district of Mandya, where farmers took to streets to express their anger over the Sc decision forcing it to part with water it can ill afford.

In Mandya, where Tamils reside in large numbers, a PWD office was vandalized, schools and colleges shut and transport halted as protesters burnt tyres at many places to stop traffic. Screening of Tamil films was also stopped in few areas and 2000 policemen were posted to maintain law and order in the border district.

The Karnataka farmers are threatening a bigger agitation and have called for a bandh on September 9. The farmers said they would block feeder canals that carry water to Tamil Nadu.

“Tamil Nadu must be given water to grow their crops. This is patently unjust and the Karnataka government must file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the decision,” said Mandya MLA, MH Ambareesh.

Over 700 state government buses were taken off the roads. At Hosur, the bordering Tamil Nadu town, buses from Tamil Nadu were stopped as well as pelted with stones. Protesters also burnt effigies of Jayalalithaa. “We do not want to give even a drop of water to TN. The Karnataka government is to blame as it could not put the case of Karantaka farmers properly in the court,” the protesting farmers said.

In Bengaluru, Tamil Sangam president TG Damodaran and other Congress leaders called on Karnataka home minister G Parameshwar and sought protection to Tamil speaking population of the state as protests by farmers threaten to assume violent proportions. The sensitive areas where Tamilians live in larger numbers are Bengaluru, Mysore, Mandya, Charmarajpet and Kolar Gold Fields. State home minister is said to have assured adequate protection to Tamil speaking population. Screening of Tamil films in three theatres was temporarily stopped in Bengaluru.

State law minister TB Jayachandra appealed to people to maintain calm.

In Tamil Nadu, people retaliated and stoned few Karnataka government buses while many could not leave bus stand at CMBT in Koyambedu.

The farmers in Karantaka are planning a massive bandh on September 9 against the decision of the apex court. The farmers are also questioning the poor performance of the Karnataka legal team that could not present the case of the Karnataka people properly in the courts.

Before the SC order, at an all-party meet in Bengaluru as also in a meeting with Tamil Nadu farmers, the Karnataka chief minister SIdharamaiah asserted that “not a drop could be given to Tamil Nadu our own state is facing deficient rainfall and we are giving water only for drinking purposes. We cannot give water for irrigation to other state.”

Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu political parties cutting across party lines welcomed the Apex Court decision and hoped that the court will ensure full justice as per the final award of the Cauvery tribunal.

Said AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi, it is a victory of Amma. “It is the result of Amma’s relentless battle that bore fruit today.” The central government should ensure that Karnataka followed Supreme Court directions. “Tamil Nadu is hoping for more relief from Supreme Court,” said Saraswathi said hoping that TN government’s legal battle is powerful and results in victory.

DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said that the SC decision was good as it would help some of the farmers to cultivate. “If Karnataka does not release water as per Supreme Court order, it would place lakhs of farmers in distress and there could be suicides by farmers,” he said.

But his party supremo, M Karunanidhi asked TN government to spell out its next course of action. “Are they going to call an all party meet to discuss this issue,” he said adding “are they going to demand 50 tmcft as scheduled according to the final award of the tribunal.”

Pattali Makkal Katchi president S Ramadoss said that Karnataka ought to follow Supreme Court order now or face the ire of judiciary later, as a previous chief minister SM Krishna had to when he was the chief minister and disregarded court orders on release of Cauvery waters.

CAUVERY TIMELINE

Feb. 5, 2007: After 16 years, Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal gives final award. Tribunal holds as valid the two agreements of 1892 and 1924 executed between the Governments of Madras and Mysore on the apportionment of water to Tamil Nadu.

The final award makes an annual allocation of 419 tmcft to Tamil Nadu in the entire Cauvery basin, 270 tmcft to Karnataka, 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft to Puducherry out of the total 740 TMC available in the Cauvery basin in a normal year.

All states file clarificatory petitions in SC seeking greater clarity on tribunal award.

Sept. 19, 2012: At the seventh meeting of the CRA, Manmohan Singh directs Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu at Biligundlu. Both the CMs — Jayalalithaa and Jagadish Shettar term it “unacceptable”. This is the first CRA meet since the UPA came to power at the Centre in 2004.

Sept. 28, 2012: Supreme Court slams Karnataka government for not complying with PM’s direction at the CRA.

Feb. 29, 2013: Centre notifies the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). The Central government was mandated to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) simultaneously with the gazette notification of the final award of the Tribunal dated February 19.

March 10, 2013: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister says that she will strive for formation of Cauvery Water Board during a felicitation ceremony organised in Thanjavur for her efforts to get the final award notified in the Union gazette.

March 19, 2013: Tamil Nadu moves Supreme Court to give directions to Water Ministry for constitution of Cauvery Management Board.

May 28, 2013: Tamil Nadu moves Supreme Court, seeks Rs. 2,480-cr damages from Karnataka for not following orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal

June 1, 2013: Union Water Resources Secretary chairs the first meeting of the Supervisory Committee which saw Tamil Nadu demanding its share of water for June as stipulated in the award.

June 2, 2013: Water cannot be released as and when TN demands, says Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

June 6, 2013: Karnataka says it cannot release 134 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu between June and September.

June 12, 1013: Cauvery Supervisory Committee terms the Tamil Nadu’s plea for directions to Karnataka for release of Cauvery waters as per the award of the CWDT as not “feasible”.

June 14, 2013: Tamil Nadu decides to file contempt plea against Karnataka for its stand on the Cauvery Supervisory Committee.

June 15, 2013: Chief Minister Jayalaithaa says the Tamil Nadu government will approach the Supreme Court for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority.

June 26, 2013: Contending that the setting up of a supervisory committee had become a futile exercise, Tamil Nadu moves SC for constitution of Cauvery Management Board.

June 28, 2013: Tamil Nadu files contempt petition in the Supreme Court against Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah for his a defiant stand before the Supervisory Committee

July 15, 2013: Karnataka and Tamil Nadu clash during the third meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee here over latter’s share of the river waters. While Tamil Nadu sought 34 tmcft in July and 50 tmcft for August to save the Samba crop, Karnataka says that it had already released 34 tmcft between June and July 13.

August 2016: Tamil Nadu asks Supreme Court to direct Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu after Siddaramiah says there is no water in the reservoirs.

Sept 3, 2016: SC directs Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs a day till Sept 15. Protests break out in Karnataka

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