K.V. Prasad

AIADMK, MDMK MPs submit memorandum to Prime Minister

NEW DELHI: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Friday urged the Centre to immediately implement the award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal to ensure that farmers of Tamil Nadu get their due share of water from the coming monsoon season.

A delegation of MPs from the AIADMK and the MDMK met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his Parliament House office and handed over a memorandum prepared by AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.

They said in order to implement the award, the Centre should notify it so that the farmers of the State would benefit.

The memorandum said: "The farmers of the Cauvery River Basin have suffered heavily for the past 34 years by the high-handed act of Karnataka and the non-cooperation of the Central Government in not respecting the interim award ordered by the Tribunal or the directions of the Supreme Court in this context.

"If it is to be considered as a working government, the Government of India should implement the award and march forward towards alleviating the miseries, agonies, sufferings and hazards of the Tamil Nadu Cauvery River Basin farmers... The Cauvery basin farmers of Tamil Nadu should receive their due share of the water in terms of the Award right from this monsoon period starting from June 2007... To achieve the above, the Central Government should start acting immediately."

In the nine-page memorandum, the AIADMK leader said it was up to the Centre to ensure that the award was implemented during the pendency of any clarificatory appeal preferred by any State in respect of the award. Until it is modified or confirmed either by the Tribunal itself or by the Supreme Court, the award could be implemented to benefit the Cauvery River Basin ayacutdars, she said.

She wanted the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee to be set up, as mandated by the Tribunal.

Patient hearing

Speaking to correspondents, delegation leader P.G. Narayanan and N. Jothi said the Prime Minster gave them a patient hearing and promised to look into the demand and discuss the matter with Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz.

Mr. Narayanan said that while his party was prepared for a discussion in Parliament, in his view it would not be proper to hold it at this stage. "It is a sensitive issue and it is better not to discuss it at this stage because it may trigger violence."