The article “Bridge over the river Cauvery” (Oct. 16) is rather soft on Karnataka’s non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to release water to Tamil Nadu. The decision to release water was taken after the monitoring committee assessed the ground situation in both the States and made a recommendation to the CRA.
As for the observation that the Cauvery Tribunal made general guidelines on water-sharing, fixed or rigid guidelines are difficult to implement as the situation varies every year. The deficit may arise at different times of crop periods and in different circumstances. The process is best left to the monitoring agency.
K.V. Subba Rao,
To go back to the basics, Tipu Sultan, whose father seized the Mysore throne after deposing the legitimate ruler, was trying to save his illegitimate throne by inviting French help to put down British plans to conquer Mysore and prevent French influence from spreading. Four wars were fought between Tipu and the British, and Tipu was killed in the fourth war. That was in 1799 AD. Mysore surrendered to the British who gave the kingdom back to the deposed royal family. But the bitterness of the wars did not die out. It is this bitterness that resulted in the Cauvery agreements of 1809 and 1892 and, finally, 1924 which punished Mysore by reserving unreasonably big share of the waters to the Madras Presidency. The huge benefits the Tamils got as a result have become so ingrained in them that most of them even think that the entire Cauvery belongs to them.
All old agreements have run their course and are not valid now. It will not be difficult to solve the problem but no one likes to give up an advantage that has accrued to him unsought. That is the real problem to be solved.
It appears that the greatest drawback of the agreement and the negotiations on the Cauvery river water-sharing between the two States is that they have not included specific provisions for sharing water during drought and the distress years. The author’s appeals to different agencies and institutions are pragmatic and need to be seriously considered. He could have added one more appeal — to political parties, especially the Congress, the BJP and the Left, not to walk into the trap of regional parties which have their own agenda in keeping the dispute alive.
Keywords: Cauvery water dispute