The dispute over sharing of Cauvery water remains unresolved despite the Supreme Court’s final verdict. The Centre has failed to comply with the apex court’s order to set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) before the deadline of March 29. The only plausible explanation for abdicating its constitutional obligation appears to be the Karnataka election. But electoral prospects cannot be the overriding consideration, when it comes to implementing a court’s orders. A life-and-death issue like water-sharing cannot be held hostage by an election.
Given the nature of the inter-state problem, it is desirable that control is taken out of politicians and given to neutral experts to ensure parity in the distribution of water. The people of Tamil Nadu accepted the reduction in their share of water in the hope that the constitution of the CMB would allay a lot of the other concerns. The government in Tamil Nadu does not have the fortitude to stand up to the Centre and put pressure on it to constitute the CMB without prevarication and procrastination.
The Centre’s decision to seek clarification from the apex court validates the accusation of it using delaying tactics. All that needs to be done must be done for Tamil Nadu’s delta farmers to get their share of water in time to grow crops. They cannot wait till May 12 or be left to fend for themselves.
G David Milton, Kanyakumari
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