Tamil Nadu has some gains in Cauvery tribunal's final award: Karunanidhi
THANJAVUR: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday said that interlinking of rivers could strengthen the unity of the country.
Launching a social security and welfare scheme for farm labourers and farmers here, Mr. Karunanidhi said: "We believe in the unity and sovereignty of the country. We talked about separation at one point of time. But, we accepted later that India is one country."
A dispute over sharing of water between two States should not be allowed to disturb the unity of the country. "That was why I said `I am satisfied,' when my opinion was sought on the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. I did not say that I was happy with the verdict. This is because I felt that Karnataka farmers should also feel happy about the award. Then only can we also be happy as India is one country." Mr. Karunanidhi said in fact Tamil Nadu had some gains in the final award. The State Government had asked water to irrigate 29.26 lakh acres and the quantum under the Tribunal award was for 24.70 lakh acres. There was not much difference. On the other hand, Karnataka had asked for water for 27.28 lakh acres but got water only for 18.84 lakh acres.
The Chief Minister said it was planned to give identity cards to 72 lakh farmers and farm labourers. So far 51.18 lakh identity cards had been distributed.
The Government had allotted Rs. 252.46 crore for implementing social security and welfare schemes for farmers and farm labourers.
Mr. Karunanidhi distributed benefits under the scheme to beneficiaries.
PWD Minister Durai Murugan said Tamil Nadu had gained a lot from the Cauvery award. Karnataka wanted the groundwater potential to be taken into consideration but the Tribunal rejected it. Karnataka did not favour monthly release of water, but the Tribunal conceded Tamil Nadu's demand for monthly release. It had also observed that a Cauvery Water Regulation Committee could be formed to implement the award.
Union Minister of Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanikkam, Union Minister of State for Home S. Regupathy, and Ministers K. Ponmudi, Arcot Veerasamy and I. Periyasamy spoke.