TN farmers welcome, political leaders oppose Cauvery verdict

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Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS) It was a mixed reaction in Tamil Nadu over the Supreme Court’s judgment on the sharing of the Cauvery river water with the farming community looking forward to its implementation while the political parties said the state has been cheated.

“In a way, this is a historical judgment where the apex court has said no state can claim ownership over a river. The central government should now nationalise the rivers,” P.R. Pandian, a farmer leader told IANS on Friday.

He said though the reduction in Tamil Nadu’s share of water would impact the farmlands in the state’s Cauvery delta region, the central government should take steps to implement the judgment and see that Tamil Nadu gets its share of water.

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“Higher allocation of water can be sought from the Cauvery River Water Management Board once it is set up. The central government should set up the board soon,” Pandian said.

“We welcome the judgment. The government should set up the Cauvery River Water Management Board. The reduction in Tamil Nadu’s water share can be managed,” S. Ranganathan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, told IANS.

He had filed the case in the apex court first. “When I filed the case I was 45 years old and now, I am 82,” he added.

On the other hand, political leaders have opposed the reduction in the state’s share of water.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the reduction in the state’s share is an injustice meted out to Tamil Nadu.

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However, he welcomed the judgment on the setting up of the Cauvery River Water Management Board and also barring the possibility of any further appeal against the judgment.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin blamed the AIADMK government for the reduction in Tamil Nadu’s share of water.

He said the state has been cheated out of its share while Karnataka, which did not honour any of the earlier orders of the court, has got a higher share of the Cauvery water.

DMK leader Duraimurugan told a television channel that the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu changed its lawyers frequently in the apex court and the state’s arguments were not put forth strongly.

He demanded the resignation of the AIADMK government headed by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami as the state’s share of water got reduced to 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) from the 192 tmcft allocated by a Tribunal in 2007.

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Tamil Nadu Congress leader Thirunavukkarassar said the good thing is that Karnataka cannot claim ownership over the Cauvery river.

MDMK leader Vaiko said the apex court order is unfair for Tamil Nadu.

–IANS

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