Is Tamil Nadu Being Ignored?
Farmers in Tamil Nadu are protesting for weeks and they demand the Centre for the setting up of the Cauvery water management board. Though the water dispute has been a major subject matter for discussion, the central government doesn’t seem to be moved a bit by the protests. As the Karnataka elections are approaching, no political parties are taking the initiative to resolve the issue, as all that matters to them is just vote. Even after Supreme Court has passed the order to set up Cauvery Water Management Board, the Centre hasn’t done anything yet to the people in Tamil Nadu. The farmers in the state are ignored for so long.
Along with the farmer’s agitation, the angst of almost all the citizens of the state was shown when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit to Chennai for the inauguration of the DefExpo 2018 a few days back. Over the non-constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board, almost all the parties had taken to the streets, which clearly displayed their contempt.
Why is Cauvery water so important to Tamil Nadu?
On February 16, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered the forming of an “authority”, a board, which will oversee the sharing of water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, within six weeks. With the deadline over and no attempts being made to institute a body, protests have erupted across Tamil Nadu, demanding the formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
The water management board will ensure timely release of water to the State. Agriculture in Tamil Nadu is deeply dependent on monsoon rains and the monthly water released by Karnataka. The establishment of the board will ensure Tamil Nadu gets its share of water every month as the SC has given the CMB the power of overseeing the monthly sharing of river water. And there have always been complaints from Tamil Nadu farmers regarding Karnataka not releasing the monthly scheduled quantity of water.
While southwest monsoon rains account for the majority of rainfall in Karnataka, it is the northeast monsoon for Tamil Nadu. According to IMD, “For Tamil Nadu, this is the main rainy season accounting for about 48% of the annual rainfall. Coastal districts of the State get nearly 60% of the annual rainfall and the interior districts get about 40-50% of the annual rainfall.”
The lack of water for agriculture in the months in northeast monsoon can be countered by the water shared from Karnataka, which the CMB will oversee.
Rather than playing politics over farmers, the central government must look into the matter with utmost care understanding the necessities of the farmers. Those farmers who are feeding us should be treated with dignity and respect. The people in power must realize and act for the people as they promise in their election manifesto. It is the lawmaker’s duty to serve its people and if the common men and farmers are in distress, something is extremely wrong with those people who are in power and their priorities.
By: Thamanna Abdul Latheef C