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The Cauvery story - No Gain, No Loss

Subsequently, the chief ministers and bureaucrats of either state discussed the issue. On the contrary, nothing had happened and enmity turned from bad to worse. In the meantime, Karnataka declared that both the earlier agreements on Cauvery null and void. Having no other alternative, farmers of the Cauvery Basin filed a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court in the year 1983. The case went on for 3 years and in the end, the Supreme Court ordered to form a tribunal so that the issue can be got over with.

Despite the order, the tribunal was not formed until 4 years. In 02.06.1990, as per the instructions of the then Prime Minister V.P. Singh, The Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal was formed under the Chairmanship of the Supreme Court Judge Sidha Ghosh Muckerji. This Tribunal delivered an interim award after a year that Karnataka should release 205-tmcft water to Tamil Nadu every year. Riots spread over Karnataka, followed by this verdict. Thousands of Tamils, who lived there, left their houses and returned to Tamilnadu on foot.

Even after this, Karnataka refused to implement the tribunal's verdict and appealed against the same. The appeal rejected by the Tribunal and it confirmed its Award but Karnataka was adamant in its stand. The T.N. Government has filed a case in the Supreme Court in 1977, to order implementation of Tribunal's instructions. Following this, Cauvery Commissionarate and monitoring Team was formed under the head of Prime Minister. But there was no change in Karnataka's stand.

16 years passed by. In the mean time, cultivation in the Cauvery Delta regions in Tamil Nadu was highly affected. Situation turned worse that the farmers could not even cultivate once a year. It resulted in the year 2004-05 farmers committing suicide due to poverty, hunger deaths, compulsion of eating rats in the fields etc. Even after all this, Karnataka never came forward to settle the matter amicably.

The Final Judgement
At a time when the Tamil Nadu farmers were totally dejected that these tribunals and courts will not solve the Cauvery dispute, the Final Award of The Tribunal had declared on the 5th of February. The Tribunal delivered the Award with caution such that a way that it does not affect both the states. According to this, the water flow in Cauvery river in a 'Water Year' (June till May) is measured at 740 tmcft. It was to be shared 419 tmcft for T.N., 270-tmc ft for Karnataka 30 for Kerala, 7 tmcft for Pondicherry.

Karnataka's "blood boiled" considering the fact that Tamil Nadu's share of the water was 419 tmcft. It does not mean that Karnataka should give the entire 419 tmcft. It has to give only 192 tmcft from the Cauvery that flows inside Karnataka. The water would be measured at the Tamil Nadu - Karnataka border where the Billikundulu water measuring point is located and will be routed to Mettur.

The Tribunal told further that Tamilnadu should keep 10 tmcft in the river and allowed 4 tmcft to flow to the sea. The tribunal instructs Tamil Nadu to release 7-tmcft water to Pondicherry from its share. Therefore, the net share of Tamil Nadu is 185 tmcft.

Cauvery flows in a 30 km stretch between Billikundulu and Mettur. During rainy reason, this place will get about 25-tmcft water. This was also added in to Tamilnadu's share. Therefore, the 210 tmcft, that was ordered for T.N., in the interim award is what given to in the final verdict also. For Karnataka, the actual release from their side is only 192 tmcft instead of the interim award 205 tmcft. However Karnataka refuses to consider these facts at all. They protest that they will not share 419 tmcft to Tamil Nadu. They are not ready to accept the facts that except for the 192 tmcft that Karnataka is to release, the remaining will be received inside Tamil Nadu itself - implying that Karnataka actually has nothing to lose.

However, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, H.D. Kumara Swamy has clearly understood the truth and facts in the final Verdict. That is why he has not make any harsh comment. He just kept quiet saying alone that an appeal would be made and they would discuss the issue with the Prime Minister. The Karnataka state police did a commendable job during the protests and they are very keen in controlling the situation.

Superstition an important reason!
The fight for Cauvery water has not started in the recent times. It is a battle of 1000 odd years. There is a lot of foolishness behind the battle. Cauvery, which comes from Talacauvery in the Kodagu Mountains flows to Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu&Pondichery and cover the distance of 802 Kms. In Talacauvery, people performed poojas every day, giving it Goddess status. People of Karnataka consider Cauvery their own girl child. On the other hand, the Tamils shout in joy, at the point Cauvery enters T.N. They worship Cauvery and praise it as their mother. During 'Aadi peruku' both state people conduct a grand festival for Cauvery. They don't see a river as a source of water. That is the problem behind the issue. Even though a river gets birth is a particular state, neither the people nor the government of the state has the power to earmark its route. The Karnataka state, where the Cauvery takes birth does not appear to have understood this Lord Tennyson, one of the great English Poet says, 'Man may come and men may go... But I go forever....' If people attain this kind of maturity, then there won't be any job for politicians in the country. Will the people apartheid the politicians and allow Cauvery to flow in its own natural way?

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