After the Supreme Court came out with the verdict on the Cauvery water dispute on Friday, reducing Tamil Nadu's share by 14.75 tmcft, reactions followed from various quarters of the States involved.
Also see: Cauvery issue — a timeline
Supreme Court's verdict reducing water for Tamil Nadu from 192 tmcft to 177.25 tmcft is disappointing, says Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, in his first reaction. The AIADMK government would take all strong efforts expeditiously to consult with legal experts to ensure the rightful share Cauvery water for Tamil Nadu, he says. The Chief Minister also rejects criticism from the DMK and in turn blames the latter saying that it was during the DMK regime in 1974 that the State's rights were lost.
“As a lower riparian State, Tamil Nadu has more rights over the Cauvery water,” he says.
Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam says the government would work diligently to get water to farmers and people of the State.
Mr. Panneerselvam says the government’s formal reaction to the verdict would follow after a scrutiny of the judgement.
On Opposition DMK’s charge that the State government had not properly presented the State’s case before the apex court, leading to lower Cauvery water allocation to Tamil Nadu, he said that the DMK, despite being part of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre, could not even get the tribunals final award published in the Central gazette.
“When did the DMK get us Cauvery water? I would like to remind that the DMK regime, despite being part of the Congress-led UPA could not even get the tribunal’s final award published in the Central gazette,” Mr. Panneerselvam says.
Actor Rajinikanth said the Cauvery verdict is disappointing and it would further affect the livelihood of Tamil Nadu farmers. In a tweet, he urges Tamil Nadu to go for a review petition.
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Tamil Nadu Minister for Fisheries D. Jayakumar: "Heard about the judgment only through the media. It is a about 400-page judgment. Amma’s government can react and decide on the future course of action only after a thorough reading of the judgment." On the constitution of a Cauvery management board, he said, “It is a good thing.”
The reduction in the quantum of the Cauvery water for Tamil Nadu will adversely affect the farmers of the State, said Arupathy Kalyanam, general secretary, Federation of Farmers Associations of Cauvery Delta Districts.
“We continue to remain the aggrieved State. The assessment on the ground water in Tamil Nadu is wrong. But for the water seeping down during the flow of water in the Cauvery there is not much groundwater to be tapped here. On the other hand, Karnataka has other water sources,” he noted.
“The Supreme Court verdict on Cauvery saddens me. This verdict will cause more damage to the Tamil Nadu farmers,” said MLA and former AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran. “The quantum of irrigated land in Delta and future of second crop cultivation is bleak.” He appealed to the Karnataka government to immediately award Tamil Nadu's share for the sake of Tamil Nadu farmers.
“The reduced quantum of water allowed to Tamil Nadu is a huge disappointment,” general secretary of the CPI (M)-affiliated Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam P. Shanmugam said.
“The Supreme Court's calculation of sub-surface water is not acceptable as vast areas in the coastal regions have only unusable sub-surface resources. Tamil Nadu must press for an appeal before a full Bench,” he said.
“The State government has failed to put forward its case properly before the Supreme Court and this has led to the reduction in the quantum of the Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water,” observed Puliyur A. Nagarajan, president, farmers wing of the Tamil Maanila Congress.
Mr. Nagarajan insisted that the quantum of water allocated to Tamil Nadu should be released on a daily basis. “The Centre should no longer delay the formation of a Cauvery management board and a Cauvery water regulatory authority so that the immediate implementation of the verdict is ensured,” he said.
The reduction in the quantum of Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water is a blow to the State and will affect irrigation on about one lakh acres, said ‘Cauvery’ S.Dhanapalan, general secretary, Cauvery Farmers Protection Association.
“The successive reduction in the quantum of water share from the interim and final awards of the Cauvery Disputes Tribunal and now by the Supreme Court raises serious doubts on whether the earlier assessments were wrong,” he said.
Pointing out that the Centre had been reluctant to form a Cauvery management board, Mr. Dhanapalan said unless the board was formed and the release of water was ensured on a daily basis, the Supreme verdict would be remain only on paper.
"We believe in the verdict of the court and respect it. Surely, this is not enough. We have raised the shortfall of water with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who has two plans to address the issue, one of which is linking river Godavari with Kallanai," said A. Navaneethakrishnan, AIADMK MP who represented Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court.
The farmers' leaders in Mandya said that according to them, the Supreme Court should have considered five consequent droughts and farmers' suicides to arrive at the quantum of water. “The 14.75 tmc of additional water to Karnataka is not sufficient, at least 30-40 tmc should have been given considering the above said reasons.”
The Desiya Thenindia Nadigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam P. Ayyakannu has expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court directive to form a Cauvery management board.
“Though it is slightly disappointing that the quantum of our share has been reduced, we are happy that the court has directed the formation of a board. The board, once constituted, will ensure the release of Tamil Nadu’s share of water as per the judicial orders and also that Karnataka does not increase its area of cultivation,” said Mr. Ayyakannu.
"This is a good news for farmers in Cauvery basin and people of Karnataka," Karnataka State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said.
"We are very happy with the verdict. The verdict is a balanced verdict which protects interest of both the states. This is a good judgement which will go long way in ensuring peace in both the states," said Mohan Kataraki who represented Karnataka in the Supreme Court.