The Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka met on Thursday more to comply with the Supreme Court’s request, not to break the deadlock over the Cauvery water dispute (“Cauvery water talks remain deadlocked”, Nov. 30). The outcome was on expected lines. Water is not a manufactured commodity that can be given to Tamil Nadu from the shelf. Whenever the monsoon is active, Karnataka releases enough or even surplus water to Tamil Nadu. To find a long-lasting solution to the vexed issue, reservoirs should be built at appropriate places across the river to impound water when it is in spate or when there are surplus flows, as suggested by Jagadish Shettar.

A. Jainulabdeen,


The Chief Ministers met with a pre-conditioned mindset. How can discussions be meaningful unless there is a free and frank dialogue between them with the support of statistical data? Technically, the leaders satisfied the Supreme Court. The politics of water will continue as usual.

D.V. Raghavan,


The failure of the two CMs to resolve the much anticipated Cauvery imbroglio has once again put the dispute back in the Supreme Court.

The only positive turnout of the meeting was Mr. Shettar’s three-point formula which seems practical and viable. As the crisis erupts only during the distress year — approximately once in five years — water during the surplus period can be stored by building one more dam below Shivanasamudram.

Akarsh B. Basapura,


The outcome of the talks was not unexpected. Although we cannot suspect the sincerity of the two Chief Ministers, one wonders whether an acceptable solution could have emerged in one hour of discussions.

Tharcius S. Fernando,


Tamil Nadu can offer cash or food items in exchange for water during distress years.

Let not the two States revert to litigation as it will only compound the problem.

R. Narendran,


Drought, regionalism, political pressure and the Union government’s bias — all these are responsible for the Cauvery water dispute becoming more complicated over the years. It is now clear that no institution can resolve inter-State disputes. Peasants will finally solve the Cauvery dispute by losing their lives.

Padmaneri V. Sivanand,


Since the Krishna Raja Sagara dam was built, there have been many changes in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The population has increased, and there is an increase in the demand for drinking water. The land that was once barren has been brought under rice and sugarcane cultivation.

A solution can be found if farmers in both the States give up the greed to grow water-guzzling crops such as sugarcane and rice. During the years of water shortage, the first priority should be to make water available for drinking in both States. Karnataka being the upper riparian should be allowed to use the water for its crops. The residual water should be allowed to flow into Tamil Nadu. The farmers should decide what crop to grow. The strategy in drought years should be formulated by farmers and agricultural scientists, not politicians, from both sides. Where there is a will, there is a way.

P. Tauro,


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