Chennai: Ecologists, officials with Tamil Nadu Fisheries department and farmers expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court judgment. “The apex court has failed to understand the ecological significance to ensure the flowing of a river water into sea. Cauvery, which originates in Biligundulu in Karnataka drains in Tamil Nadu at three different locations including Poompuhar in Nagapattinam and Kollidam in Cuddalore. The meagre release of 10 tmcft of water will not be sufficient for environmental protection”, said conservationist Ms K. Brinda of Biodiversity Conservation Foundation.
“Cauvery is a perennial river and it has to flow throughout the year. Only, if the water flow is ensured biodiversity will sustain thereby improving groundwater and other living ecosystems. The court fails to understand that ecology deserves more water than farming and diversion of water for industrial uses”, she said.
“The 10 tmcft of water will not be sufficient as there are several bird sanctuaries, fish breeding habitats, estuaries and lagoons coming both in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The court should ensure that more tmcft of water should be released in to sea so that the entire river stretch benefits without drying thus benefiting tree cover, groundwater table and fish biodiversity”, she added.
“The fresh water ecosystem of Cauvery needs to be cleansed and a natural way of cleaning the polluted river is by releasing water to flow through its course on a regular basis. By constructing dams, both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had affected the Cauvery ecology. There has to be a constant release of water to boost dying streams of Cauvery,” said an associate professor with Tamil Nadu Fisheries University.
“Besides the paddy fields of delta districts, Chennai, Kancheepuram and Vellore are also dependent on Cauvery for drinking water. The reduction of water to TN is a drawback and the state has failed to question the diversion of cauvery water to industries in Karnataka”, said Arupathy Kalyanam of Delta Farmers Federation.