Don't extend tenure of Cauvery tribunal, ryots urge Manmohan

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Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

Special Correspondent

It will result in further delay and worry for farmers

Impress on tribunal members to conclude work Faith in judicial process is in jeopardy No minor detail has escaped scrutiny

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to extend the tenure of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal further.

The association urged him to impress on the tribunal members to conclude their work and pass the final order "without any further delay."

Responding to reports that the tribunal had sought a six-month extension its tenure expires on August 6 general secretary S. Ranganathan, in his letter to the Prime Minister, said the move to extend the period was "a sheer unproductive effort and wasteful activity," which would result in further delay and worry for farmers who almost lost their patience after endless wait.

"Cause of consternation"

The progress of the dispute before the tribunal in the last couple of months was a "matter of real anxiety to all of us the riparian farmers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka." More specifically, the attitude of the two members of the tribunal and an open confrontation between them and the Chairman were a cause of consternation among the legal fraternity of the country. "The faith of the farmers in the judicial process, today, is in serious jeopardy!"

Pointing out that experts including M.S. Swaminathan and I.C. Mahapatra took part in the tribunal proceedings, Mr. Ranganathan said they were cross-examined for a "considerable length of time." No other tribunal had taken "such a long time" of over 16 years to find a solution and pass the final award. "Volumes of documents, ancient as well as modern, have been recorded and it won't be an exaggeration to state here that there is not a single minor or even minute detail that has escaped the scrutiny of the learned judges of the tribunal."

Mr. Ranganathan said leading farmers and their representatives in the two States had taken up the issue in the form of a dialogue of the stakeholders, facilitated by the Madras Institute of Development Studies, since April 2003.



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