Good start to Cauvery authority: farmers

The farming community across the delta region expressed happiness over the “good beginning” made by the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMWA), which held its first meeting in New Delhi on Monday.

A tinge of disappointment was nevertheless discernible over the authority’s decision to allow Karnataka to adjust this month the surplus water, mostly the flood discharges from the Kabini reservoir, released in June. A section of farmers also felt that it was time that the authority took control of all reservoirs in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to ensure compliance of its orders.

“To start with, the language of the authority has been very satisfactory. They have politely made it clear that the authority will be forceful,” observed Mannargudi S. Ranganathan, general secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association.

There was nothing wrong in adjusting the surplus quantum of water (over and above Tamil Nadu’s share) released during June in the July release. But just as the deficit was to be shared on a pro rata basis as laid down by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, the monsoon surplus too should be accounted for proportionally, he observed.

“We are happy over the authority’s first meeting and its decision, though it is disappointing that Karnataka has been allowed to adjust the surplus flood flows in the quantum of water to be released to Tamil Nadu this month,” said P.R. Pandian, president, Tamil Nadu All Farmers Federation.

Now that the authority is functional, all States concerned should cooperate in implementing its directions. Any violation should be reported to the Supreme Court and the contempt of court proceedings should be initiated, he demanded.

‘Take control of dams’

The authority also has the responsibility to ensure the release of water by taking operational control of the dams.

“The Central Industrial Security Force should be vested with the responsibility of providing security cover to the reservoirs,” Mr. Pandian said.

The officials have politely made it clear that the authority will be forceful

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