CHENNAI: AS Munavar Basha, General Secretary of Tamil Maanila Congress, on Tuesday said that the Cauvery dispute is “lingering on” as the state does not have a “bold” Chief Minister, remarks seen as a dig on MK Stalin.
His reaction came a day after the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) passed an interim order to Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily for the next 15 days till September 2.
He also said that despite the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress-led Karnataka government being alliance partners in the opposition bloc INDIA, the latter is not releasing Cauvery the water.
Speaking to ANI, Basha said, “…This is a victory for delta farmers. But at the same time, the Karnataka government will not obey the instructions because in Tamil Nadu we don’t have a bold Chief Minister. That is why this (the Cauvery issue) happened. Had he (MK Stalin) been a bold CM, he would have got the water released for the state without any commission or court’s direction…”
“They (DMK) are allies in opposition bloc INDIA, but Karnataka government is not releasing water to Tamil Nadu. How will the people in Tamil Nadu vote for the INDIA alliance?”, he added.
In Karnataka, the principal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader Basavaraj Ingin said the panel order is nothing but “pushing farmers into a debt trap”.
“Recent order of CWRC to the government of Karnataka is nothing but pushing farmers into a debt trap…When there is no water in Karnataka, besides Cauvery, the question of releasing water should not have arisen…Now the government of Karnataka will have to struggle hard…,” Ingin said.
The matter has been a controversial issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for decades and they have been locked in battle over the sharing of water from the Cauvery river, which is a major source of irrigation and drinking water for millions of people in the region.
The Centre formed the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) on June 2, 1990, to adjudicate disputes between Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry with respect to the water-sharing capacities.
The Kaveri is an interstate basin that originates in Karnataka and passes through Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry before draining into the Bay of Bengal.
The total watershed of the Cauvery basin is 81,155 sq km, of which the river’s catchment area is about 34,273 sq km in Karnataka, 2,866 sq km in Kerala and the remaining 44,016 sq km in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. (ANI)