Chennai, Feb 16: Tamil Nadu saw mixed reactions over the Supreme Court’s Friday order on the sharing of the Cauvery river water, with the farming community and the government looking forward to its implementation while the political parties said the state has been cheated.
“In a way, this is a historical judgment where the apex court has said no state can claim ownership over a river. The Central government should now nationalise the rivers,” farmer leader P.R. Pandian told IANS.
He said though the reduction in Tamil Nadu’s share of water would impact the farmlands in the state’s Cauvery delta region, the Central government should take steps to implement the judgment and see that Tamil Nadu gets its share of water.
“Higher allocation of water can be sought from the Cauvery River Water Management Board once it is formed. The Central government should set it up soon,” Pandian said.
Hailing the court judgement that said ownership cannot be claimed over rivers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami in a late night statement termed it as a positive development.
However her said the negative point is that the court has taken the ground water reserves in the Cauvery delta region into consideration, while calculating Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery river water.
He said the court judgement has ensured supply of water for next 15 years by Karnataka.
S. Ranganathan, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association Secretary, told IANS: “We welcome the judgment. The government should set up the Cauvery River Water Management Board. The reduction in Tamil Nadu’s water share can be managed.”
He said he filed the case in the apex court when he was 45 years old. “Now I am 82.”
Political leaders on the other hand opposed reduction in the state’s water share.
Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said a detailed response could be given only after studying the order but added it is unfortunate that Tamil Nadu’s share has gone down.
However, it is heartening to note that the court has ordered to set up the Cauvery River Water Management Board, he said.
Slamming the DMK, he said the party has no right to criticise the ruling AIADMK government as the blame for the Cauvery water dispute has to be borne by it (the DMK).
PMK founder S. Ramadoss termed the order an “injustice” to Tamil Nadu even as he welcomed the judgment on the setting up of the management board and also on barring the possibility of any further appeal against the order.
DMK leader M.K. Stalin hit out at the government, saying the state has been cheated out of its share of water while Karnataka, which did not honour any of the earlier orders of the court, has got a higher share.
According to Stalin, Palaniswami should convene an all-party meet to discuss the unprecedented situation and decide on the next course of action.
“I would like to insist that representatives from farmers’ association should be allowed to take part in the meet,” he said.
DMK leader Duraimurugan told a television channel that the current government changed its lawyers frequently and the state’s arguments were not put forth strongly.
He demanded the resignation of the AIADMK government headed by Palaniswami as the state’s share of water got reduced to 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) from the 192 tmcft allocated by a Tribunal in 2007.
Tamil Nadu Congress leader S. Thirunavukkarasar said the good thing was that Karnataka can’t claim ownership over Cauvery river.
MDMK leader Vaiko said the apex court order is unfair to Tamil Nadu.
On his part, actor Rajinikanth said the Tamil Nadu government should file a review petition in the apex court and the judgement is impacting the livelihood of the state farmers.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said he was shocked to hear the reduction of Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery river water.