What is Cauvery Water Management Board?
The sharing of Cauvery River Water has been the point of contention between the two states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Karnataka has to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on a monthly basis proportionate to the monthly figures indicated for a normal year. But, Tamil Nadu received less than its share of Cauvery water during the crucial four months – June to September – in 18 out of 27 years, since the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) reconsidered Tamil Nadu’s plea and gave its interim order on 25 June 1991.
In Tamil Nadu, the farmers were receiving overwhelming support for an implementation mechanism on the Tribunal’s final order, which now stands modified by the Supreme Court marginally about allocations to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Regularly, Tamil Nadu did not get its share of Cauvery water when its farmers wanted it most, and Karnataka state did not adhere to the schedule of monthly releases, as drawn up by the CWDT order.
On several occasions, the first storage point of the Cauvery water, Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu, recorded copious inflows when the delta faced heavy rainfall.
Farmers and water experts say a Cauvery management board will ensure timely release of water to the Tamil Nadu.
On the importance of the Southwest Monsoon, agriculturists and Water experts explain that it is during this period the short term ‘Kuruvai‘ crop is raised and the early phase of the long-term samba crop is taken up. For both, water is required essentially.
Besides, Karnataka state receives most of its annual rainfall during the monsoon, whereas Tamil Nadu does not receives much then and it has to wait till the advent of the Northeast Monsoon in mid-October.
In February, the Supreme Court reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery river water and said Karnataka would receive a major share of water, which would benefit cities like its capital Bengaluru.
Many Tamil Nadu leaders had reconciled to the Supreme Court judgment, telling farmers that the state would still gain if the Cauvery Management Board, to be set up on the court’s orders, ensures that Tamil Nadu gets this lower allocation too.
The 765-km-long Cauvery river originates in Kodagu district in southern Karnataka and flows into Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry. This flow is considered as a lifeline for Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
But the central government did not set up the management board till the deadline expired and later filed a clarification in the supreme court. This has exposed AIADMK leaders, who had showered praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a late CM Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary in February.
P.R. Pandian, a leader of farmers, argues that only with the Southwest Monsoon rainfall, agriculturists can do farming operations intensely and the Northeast Monsoon is only of “complementary and supplementary value.”
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal gave out its final award in 2007 that,
Of the total available 740 tmc ft water, this was the allocation made:
- Tamil Nadu – 419 tmc ft
- Karnataka – 270 tmc ft
- Kerala – 30 tmc ft
- Puducherry – 7 tmc ft
In a normal year, the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal ordered that Karnataka has to release to Tamil Nadu 192 tmc ft (as against 205 tmc ft in the interim award) in monthly basis at the interstate border, Billingundlu. This comprises 182 tmc ft from the allocated share of Tamil Nadu, including ten tmc ft for environmental purposes.
In a distress year, the CWDT stated that the allocated shares should be proportionately reduced among Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Puducherry.
The lack of clarity on the sharing of Cauvery river water during a distress year is one of the reasons for the dispute.
Demands of Tamil Nadu for Cauvery Water
- Karnataka has to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on a monthly basis proportionate to the monthly figures indicated for a normal year. But, Tamil Nadu received less than its share of Cauvery water during the crucial four months – June to September.
- Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote a letter to Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah requesting for 15 thousand million cubic feet, or TMC, of water for his state. But Karnataka CM said that Karnataka can’t release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. He said,
“We do not have water. How can we supply to them?”. “It is not possible to release water to Tamil Nadu.”
- Tamil Nadu also demanded that Karnataka not be allowed the construction of structure at Shivasamudram and a reservoir at Mekedatu by Karnataka government and the construction of new dams by Kerala in Pambar rivers (Bhavani), to which the response was “board was coming,” sources said.
- The SC reduced the apportionment of Tamil Nadu by 14.75tmc ft, considering the groundwater availability and need to release drinking water to Bengaluru.
Cauvery Issue Latest News & Updates
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MP A. Navaneethakrishnan said all AIADMK MPs would commit suicide if the Centre fails to constitute a Cauvery Management Board by the March 29 deadline set by the Supreme Court. Rajya Sabha floor leader of the AIADMK party Navaneethakrishnan told reporters,
“There is a demand in Tamil Nadu that AIADMK MPs should resign. We are ready to commit suicide if the Union government does not implement the SC ruling. All the AIADMK MPs will commit suicide,”.
The AIADMK has 13 members in the Rajya Sabha and 37 in the Lok Sabha. The Election Commission announced the poll dates in Karnataka. While polling will take place on May 12, the counting of votes will be held on May 15. Karnataka will face a three-cornered fight between the Congress, BJP and the JDS.
The actor turned Politician Kamal Haasan, has amped up the campaign against Tamil Nadu government and the centre for sitting tight on the Supreme Court’s verdict. He told that the State Government is the responsibility of constituting the Cauvery management board (CMB) rested with the Centre, but it “cannot hallucinate” that it has fulfilled its duty towards the people by just filing a contempt petition before the Supreme Court or by holding a farcical one-day hunger strike. He said,
“It is a political game. It is obvious,” Mr. Haasan told NDTV on his way to Tiruchirapalli, also known as Trichy where he will address a huge public meeting later on Wednesday evening. But then, he said, this was something that people of Tamil Nadu were aware of. “But as a new party’s founder, I will have to reiterate it,”
The Opposition party DMK and other parties like Congress, CPI(M) and CPI sponsored bandh today in Tamil Nadu on 5 April 2018 to protest against the Union government’s failure to set the Cauvery Management Board. DMK working president M.K. Stalin protested near the EVR statue in Anna Salai, Chennai.
DMK’s working president MK Stalin had met friendly opposition parties in Chennai on April 1, seeking their support for today’s bandh over Tamil Nadu. He even appealed to all sections of farmers, students, lawyers, traders, trade unions, film associations, milk distributors and others, to support the shutdown and unite for the Cauvery cause.
The state Congress president S Thirunavukkarasar, VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi) chief Thirumavalavan, Tamil Nadu secretaries of the CPI (M) and the CPI – K Balakrishnan and R Mutharasan, respectively – were among the leaders who attended the meeting organized by MK Stalin. Read More..
Even though, the Tamil Nadu farmers continued their strike over the Cauvery issue on April 6. Members of the Desiya Thenninthiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam (National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association), buried themselves in the sand up to their torsos on the Cauvery riverbed in Trichy demanding that the central government constitute a Cauvery management board immediately. A total of 25 members of the association participated in the protest. They wore garlands and posed as dead bodies.
Farmers leader Ayyakannu, known for leading the famous and unique protests by Tamil Nadu farmers in the national capital, was also present at the protests. The farmers were later evicted by the police.
Meanwhile, a group of Tamil Nadu Digital Media Association, led by Smile Settai RJ Vigneshkanth, Parithabangal Fame Gopi & Sudhakar, ‘Pacha Sattai’ Ilamaran, Prasanth Rangaswamy have organised a protest against the Union government’s failure to set the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC). Read More..
PMK Member walks on Top of the Train during Cauvery Protest, gets Electrocuted
A Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) member killed after he touches the high voltage electric wire when he climbed on top of an electric locomotive at Tindivanam railway station during a protest over the demand of for Cauvery Management Board (CMB). In The man, identified as 32-year-old Ranjith, was part of the rail mariyal staged by the PMK over the Cauvery issue. The incident was caught on camera. The video shows a spark and Ranjith aflame. Ranjith was immediately rushed to the hospital. He was hospitalised at JIPMER in Puducherry. Read More…
STR’s Press Meet Made the Change | Unite for Humanity
A lot of Karnataka people posted videos of them giving water to Tamils on the social media and made the hashtag #UniteForHumanity trending top on Twitter. People of Karnataka loved the idea of Tamil actor Silambarasan. Karnataka film industry also supported STR for spreading love and not hatred like the existing political parties. Read More…
Opposition in Tamil Nadu to hold Human Chain Protest Across State on April 23
Opposition parties of Tamil Nadu led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will hold human chain protest across the state on April 23 demanding that the Centre sets up the Cauvery Water Management Board immediately. The decision was taken on Monday at a meeting that DMK Working President MK Stalin chaired. At the meeting, the resolution had been taken that the demonstrators will form human chains against the union government. The parties also urged Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take steps to form the Cauvery management board immediately. Read More…
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