Tamil Nadu

Call for rail blockade in State from April 25

Protest to focus on securing T.N.’s right over Cauvery

The Tamil Nadu All Farmers’ Coordination Committee has called for a State-wide continuous rail blockade from April 25 to protect the rights of the State on the Cauvery issue.

Disclosing this at a press conference here on Friday, P.R. Pandian, president of the committee, said the Cauvery issue would be the sole focus of the protest.

“We want the release of water in Cauvery by Karnataka so that the Mettur dam can be opened for irrigation on June 12 [the usual date of water release],” he said.

Rejecting Karnataka’s contention that the storage in their dams was poor, Mr. Pandian claimed that meteorologists have predicted the onset of monsoon soon in the catchment areas of the river.

“We have decided not to allow any train to run in the core delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam. However, several organisations have come forward to participate, and hence, it will be a State-wide stir. We request all political parties, farmers organisations, students and the public to support the protest to uphold the rights of the State,” he said and appealed to the public to opt for road travel during the protest.

Permanent tribunal

Mr. Pandian argued that the Centre’s move to establish a permanent tribunal, which would subsume existing tribunals, to adjudicate upon river water disputes between States, was nothing but an attempt to deprive Tamil Nadu of its rights over Cauvery waters. It was regrettable that the State government had not spelt out its stand on the move, and that the Tamil Nadu MPs had failed to raise the issue in Parliament, he said, and urged the Centre to withdraw the move. “The Cauvery river is not only the lifeline of delta farmers but also the source of drinking water for a large part of the State,” he observed.

Commenting on the all-party meeting convened by the DMK to discuss issues confronting farmers, Mr. Pandian said the meeting should extend support to the rail roko.

On the agitation of Tamil Nadu farmers in New Delhi, Mr. Pandian criticised the State and Central governments for failing to concede to their demands. “Though nude demonstrations are not acceptable to us, the State and the Centre have pushed the farmers to the brink,” he said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 7:20:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/call-for-rail-blockade-in-state-from-april-25/article18032052.ece

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