Stepping up pressure, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Saturday asked the Centre to notify the final order of the Cauvery tribunal for ensuring release of water by Karnataka to save withering crops in the state during this distress year.
“...this year we have been made to run from pillar to post to get our due share of water from Karnataka but, in spite of our efforts, Karnataka continues to utilise all the waters of the river Cauvery brazenly, as if it owns the river Cauvery, with scant regard to the plight of the lower riparian state,” she said in her second letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in less than a week.
The final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal should be notified without any further delay and the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee put in place so that the final order could be brought to force, she said.
In her December 20 missive to Dr. Singh, she had requested him to expedite the Notification of the final order of the Tribunal and also to constitute the Cauvery Management Board forthwith “to safeguard the livelihood of the farmers of Tamil Nadu”.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said the storage position in Mettur Reservoir has reached a “precarious” position and a “calamitous” situation prevails in the Cauvery-fed districts.
“As on December 21, the storage in Mettur Reservoir is just 8.8 TMCft. The situation in the Cauvery fed districts has become grim affecting the livelihood and the survival of millions of farmers and agricultural labourers of Tamil Nadu,” she said.
While the Supreme Court had requested the Additional Solicitor General on December 5 to seek instructions as to when the final order would be notified, the Cauvery Monitoring Committee on December 7 had recorded it would be notified at the earliest but not later than the end of December, she said.
When the Tribunal pronounced the interim order on June 25, 1991, based on the advisory opinion rendered by the apex court in the Presidential Reference, the Centre notified the interim order on December 10, 1991 even when a clarificatory petition was pending before the Tribunal and a suit and SLP were pending before the apex court against the interim order, she said.
“On the same analogy, the Final Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal should be notified immediately,” the chief minister said.
She hoped that the Prime Minister would consider the plight of the farmers and agricultural labours of Tamil Nadu and instruct the Water Resources Ministry to notify the final order forthwith.