LACK OF POLITICAL WILL OF THE UNION GOVERNMENT
DEPRIVED TAMILS OF CAUVERY WATERS FOR DECADES
Poets are respected beyond cultures. Suppose in Karnataka there exists a British settlement, naturally the British people would install the statue of Shakespeare. Such statues will be honored in any civilized country, except under Talibans. On par with Talibans, we cannot equate Kannada people. But certain political leaders of Karnataka who have lost their mental equilibrium have made an issue out of Saint Thiruvalluvar’s statue. On the banks of Ulsoor lake a statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar was unveiled under Bangarappa’s rule and many Chief Ministers have occupied his seat with decades passing, yet the unveiled statue remains wrapped in gunny bag without public view and is guarded by gun wielding police men. In whole of India the statues of many leaders and Poets are respected and no issue is made out of any statue. No statue in India is under police custody beyond life sentence too. Saint Thiruvalluvar’s statue faces such ignominy because of handful of Taliban type Kannada terrorists. Now it is the turn of Cauvery water to be made a pawn in the power play of these Kannadabans.
Dravida Peravai recalls the memorandum it sent to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 24.4.1998. Let me quote extracts from that letter.
“In civilized society disputes of whatever nature will be either resolved through mutual discussions or by third party mediation be it government or courts. It is needless to recall that the Indus water dispute between India and Pakistan stands settled. The Danube water dispute among 8 European nations, the Tangus water dispute between Spain and Portugal, the Tennessee water dispute among 8 states of USA have all been resolved amicably, while the Cauvery water dispute still evades settlement due to lack of political will on the part of successive Union Governments. It will be appropriate to point out that all these inter state river water disputes were settled only by upholding and accepting the priority principle in favour of lower riparian states.
While much water has flown in Cauvery within Karnataka, the legitimate share of lower riparian states of Tamilnadu and Pondicherry has dwindled year after year. We bring out this fact as follows:
Year Agreement Share ofTamilnadu/Pondicherry
1924 Agreement between Madras Presidency and Mysore State during British period 575.68 TMC
[Comments: Under this agreement based on Nile river settlement Tamilnadu got 489 TMC approximately]
1972 G.C.Committee Report 489 TMC
[Comments: Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala utilized 489, 177 and 5 TMC respectively as per the formula in this report accepted by the Chief Ministers of 3 states stated above]
1972 On 31.5.1972 in the presence Union Minister for Water Resources K.L.Rao three states agree 489 TMC
1974 Meeting of Chief Ministers convened by Union Irrigation Minister Jagjivan Ram agree for status quo
1978 Compromise worked during the period of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi 489-100 = 389 TMC
[Comments: This grave injustice perpetuated by Indira Gandhi’s emergency rule reduced 100 TMC overnight and deprived Tamilnadu and Pondicherry its due share. Tamilnadu did not ratify this]
1980 Karnataka’s own proposal on the basis of total flow in Cauvery during previous 75 years 375 TMC
[Comments: This proposal suggested 47 percent, 47 percent, 5 percent and 1 percent shares for Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry in the total flow of the river]
1990 Statement of Karnataka Chief Minister Veerendra Patil 489-73 = 416 TMC for Tamilnadu
177+73 =250 TMC for K”nataka
[Comments: Karnataka which was receiving 177 TMC under previous arrangement now will use 250 TMC and this satisfied Karnataka Chief Minister Mr.Patil as Tamilnadu agreed to this proposal]
1991 Interim order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on 25.6.1991 205 TMC
Having traced the history I think I have made it clear that Tamilnadu’s share has been on decline and great injustice is inflicted upon Tamil people. The major lacunae in the Tribunal’s order is that it fixed the quantum on the basis of the average flow into the Metur Dam of Tamilnadu and not on the basis of the average of the total flow in the entire Cauvery.
On July 25 th of 1991 Karnataka urgently convened the legislature and upper house and passed Cauvery Irrigation Protection Act, which was against the Constitution of India since it defies the highest Court of the land.
So goes on the Dravida Peravai memorandum to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and its concluding prayer is as follows:
As per the 1991 census out of the total population of 55.60 millions, 16.85 million people live in the Cauvery river basin, By 2001, the total population of Tamilnadu is expected to increase to 95 millions and in this increase particularly in Cauvery river basin the figures will be around 29 million people. The cultivable lands in Cauvery basin, which stood at 39.83 lakh hectares, have come down to 28.94 lakh hectares. While population is on increase cultivable lands are diminishing in Cauvery basin. Union Government by its inaction is driving Tamils into the Kalahandi syndrome.
The Center should under section 6 [a] of Interstate Water Disputes act 1956 frame schemes to implement interim award and let the final award also be complied with.
The Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal had given its final verdict in 2007.All these years the farmers of Cauvery river basin, particularly in Tamil Nadu had lost crores and crores due to crop losses and agricultural labourers lost work and famine haunted their homes. Apart from delayed justice, there is need to compensate for all these losses. Though in between paltry pittances had been given by Tamilnadu and Pondicherry on year by year basis according to exigencies, the Center has failed to implement the Interim Award and now also we cant be sure of Final Award being implemented soon, it is necessary to pay heavy compensations from National Calamity Fund to Cauvery delta farmers, The Karaikal Struggle Group had demanded on 6 th Febraury 2007. After the revamp of Karaikal Struggle Group while introducing the new 36 office bearers, I who was chosen as Honorary President addressed the press conference at Karaikal, wherein this demand was made.
KARNATAKA GAINS IN FINAL AWARD
All advocates who advocated the cause of Karnataka before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal are of the view that Karnataka had gained by this final verdict. The Interim award told to allocate 205 TMC Cauvery Water to Tamil Nadu. But 227 TMC water was given. In addition within Tamilnadu catchments areas the river basin got 25 TMC of rainwaters. So 252 TMC was going to Tamilnadu all these years. But as per the final verdict Karnataka had to give only 192 TMC. Hence in no way it is loss to Karnataka. There is no use in going on appeal against the Tribunal order, advocates opine. As per Dinamalar special correspondent from New Delhi, Senior Counsel for Karnataka Mr.Nariman and all concerned with this case from Karnataka side have stated that if appeal is made it will go against Karnataka. They feel the Tribunal’s final award is favorable.
As per the fact-finding committee’s report of 1971, Karnataka should get only 177 TMC. As per the agreement made in the presence of Hon’ble Jaga Jivan Ram in 1976, it was recommended that Karnataka would get 239 TMC. But in the final award Karnataka gets 270 TMC. There was also a ban to hike cultivable areas beyond 11.2 lakh hectares. Now that ceiling had been totally withdrawn. Instead of accepting Tamilnadu’s contention that the yardstick to calculate waters should be flow into Mettur Dam, the Tribunal has accepted Billigundlu, the area within Karnataka as calculating point. Only draw back for Karnataka side is they cannot go on arbitrarily constructing new dams.
In spite of a favorable verdict, in spite of lawyer’s who fought the case for Karnataka expressing opinion that the judgment is in their favor, instigated protests are going on in Karnataka. There has been total stoppage of inter state transport. Today i.e. 9 th the Karnataka lorries, buses and cars have started coming into Tamilnadu, which shows and proves once again that Tamils are mature and civilized people. Whereas Tamilnadu transport vehicles could not enter Karnataka. A few handful politicians of Karnataka are raising hue and cry and all Karnataka Governments till date are using it as a ploy to deny Tamilnadu of its legitimate share.
The unity shown by political parties even to defy the Tribunal’s order must be an eye opener to the warring Tamilnadu political parties, who never in the history of Tamilnadu stood up for a public cause sinking petty political differences. This lack of unity and the open invitation to divide and rule Tamils extended by the political parties of Tamilnadu enables Union Government and national parties to impose on Tamil unjust settlements, on many issues including Kacha Theevu and Cauvery.
ONE COUNTRY WITHOUT ONE MARKET
While I met the then Union Minister of Finance Mr.Yaswant Sinha, I had said that while European nations started with various currencies and now joined in one European Union and have single currency, we in Indian Union started with single currency but yet we have not reached one common market. At every state’s borders the check posts will reveal that we are not a single nation or an economic union. The act of Karnataka once again by open defiance of Tribunal order proves that Union Government has no political will to secure justice for Tamils by taming the misguiding Karnataka’s anti-nationals. Nor India is one nation ruled by one Union that can protect all its constituents.
N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai