This refers to the editorial "Eminently implementable" (Feb. 6). The final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal is fair and well balanced. While most of the political parties, farmers' associations, and the media have welcomed the award, there are some sections in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that are, as usual, seeking political mileage. As rightly pointed out in the editorial, all political parties and leaders should work together "without bringing chauvinism into play."
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Conceding that it is nearly impossible for any tribunal to satisfy all the parties involved in the dispute, it must be said that Karnataka has reasons to be disappointed.
On the whole, the final order will be seen as a victory for Tamil Nadu's aggressive pursuit of its case against a historically handicapped Karnataka.
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The final award is most reasonable and should be respected by both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in letter and spirit. Governments and political parties in the States should take steps to educate the people on the just nature of the award to remove any apprehensions from their minds. The award can be implemented only if the political parties give up false propaganda.
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The Tribunal will be remembered for generations to come for the balanced award. It should also have come out with a solution for water sharing during the distress period. The expectation that this can still be done when the matter comes up before it should hopefully come through. The States should realise that had there been some more understanding and a sense of give-and-take among them, much of the bitter experiences of the past could have been avoided.
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Cauvery water sharing has snowballed into a major issue, thanks to our politicians. Leaders of almost all the political parties in Tamil Nadu have used it as a poll plank. They have divided the people of two neighbouring States. They should respect the final award and treat the matter as closed. The electronic media have been passing off the verdict as a victory for Tamil Nadu. They should stop whipping up passions that can lead to violence.
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The award is equitable. It is now up to the governments and politicians to execute the verdict without arousing any unrest. Given our politicians' attitude towards court directions, whether the Tribunal award will be executed is a million dollar question.
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While creating an environment for the implementation of the award, the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka should take precautionary steps to maintain law and order. The Cauvery is a national asset and the water from it should be shared in an amicable manner among the States as spelt out by the Tribunal.
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Rivers are national assets and not the property of any one State. All the States should learn to respect the decisions of tribunals and other higher bodies. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remark in the context of Pakistan that we cannot choose our neighbours applies to the States too.
It is unfortunate that even after almost 60 years of independence, we have not been able to tackle the situation arising from floods and drought. We should execute the plan to interlink rivers.