Tamil Nadu also pleaded that the Centre should ensure implementation of the earlier agreements, pacts and tribunal awards.

Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association has slammed the decision of the Central government to consult legal experts before gazetting the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

In a statement here, Mahadhanapuram V. Rajaram, working president of the association, said that there was an “easy method” for the public to understand what is good for the country and what it is not whenever the Central government comes out with a proposal. “Whenever Karnataka supports it, it is bad for the nation, and whenever it opposes, it is good for the country,” he added.

Citing the recent national-level meeting on water resources, he pointed out that Tamil Nadu has contended that the draft proposal had some features which encroached upon the powers of the State government. Besides, it has asserted that the upper riparian State should not object to the lower riparian State utilising the entire water. Also, there should be no compulsion on the lower riparian States to get the concurrence of the other States for going in for expansion plans.

Tamil Nadu also pleaded that the Centre should ensure implementation of the earlier agreements, pacts and tribunal awards.

While the proposed national policy moots a separate board to fix the price of water, Tamil Nadu considers it interference in the powers of the State government. It is for the State government to decide, it has contended.

But Karnataka has taken an opposite stand under which a minimum price could be fixed for water. Besides, States should be so empowered that water sharing should be decided only by the States concerned depending upon the situation.

He has also sought constitution of a permanent tribunal for settling the inter-State river disputes.

Mr. Rajaram is certain that the Central government would accept only what Karnataka advocated. An important example of this is the latest statement of Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat that the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was accepted by all the four States concerned earlier. However, now that Karnataka is opposed to gazetting the same, the Central government has decided to seek the views of legal experts.

“Such a decision is terribly painful,” lamented Mr. Rajaram. Hence, while urging all the political parties and the farmers’ associations to support Chief Minister Jayalallithaa in all her endeavour to uphold the rights of the State with regard to the Cauvery waters, he appealed to the State government to take all the political parties and the agriculturists’ associations into confidence with regard to the issue.