Delta farmers keep fingers crossed on CMB formation

More than the quantum of water given by the Supreme court in its verdict on Cauvery on Friday to Tamil Nadu.

THANJAVUR: More than the quantum of water given by the Supreme court in its verdict on Cauvery on Friday to Tamil Nadu, what worries most of the farmers in Cauvery delta is whether the order will be implemented by Karnataka.

“Our experience in the past has been Karnataka never respected court verdict in the past. It went to the level of contempt of court and apologised in Supreme court for that. If that is the history, what is the mechanism for implementing this order?” asked many of them.

They also said that though the final award of Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal was 192 tmcft, that much of water has not been realised by Tamil Nadu on many years.

“During 2012-13, water realisation was 65.35 tmc, in 2013-14, it was only 60.17 tmc, in 2014-15, it was 60.05, in 2015-16, it was 95.6 and this year it was only 112 tmcft,” said V. Duraimanickam, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to CPI.

P. Maniarasan, coordinator of Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu said that Supreme Court asked central government on September 20, 2016 to form the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) before October 4. But centre has not done that instead it questioned the authority of the court to order so.

Farmers also expressed concern over the quantum of water for Tamil Nadu coming down to 177.25 tmcft from a whopping nearly 500 tmcft of water before 1924 agreement and 360.5 tmcft till1974 on an average per year after Mettur dam was constructed and now 177.25 tmc.

“Krishnaraja sagar was not built before 1924. When Karnataka asked for building Krishnaraja sagar, Tamil Nadu insisted on building Mettur in Tamil Nadu on which condition it gave permission to build Krishnarajasagar dam. Mettur project was completed in 1934” said S.S. Palani Manickam, former union minister. According to Maniarasan, 360.5 tmcft of water was received by TN till 1974 after Mettur was constructed. This has been mentioned in a publication on irrigation by former chief engineer, Mohanakrishnan, Mariarasan said.

Cauvery river water disputes tribunal gave 205 tmc in its interim award in 1991. In its final award in 2007, the award was 192 tmc. Now it has come down to 177.25 tmc for which the court has taken into consideration the underground water.

Cauvery Management Board should be formed without delay and it should monitor the implementation of the SC order, they said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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