- In 1971, Indira Gandhi had intervened outside the powers of tribunal to give drinking water to Chennai.
- Despite Karnataka CM's repeated appeal to PM Modi, there has been no communication from his office.
The Supreme Court verdict on the Cauvery water issue has spelt a serious problem for Karnataka. Time and again the ruling Congress government has requested for intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, only to be told that such intervention was not possible.
While PM Modi's office has remained non-committal on the issue, the general consesus in the state is that the PM can indeed intervene in the matter.
The verdict has put Karnataka in a spot as the state does not have enough water even for its drinking water needs.
"Supreme Court’s verdict on Cauvery Issue is quite shocking. We have never seen such a verdict since the independence. Judges do not have information about situation prevailing in Karnataka reservoirs." – SM Krishna, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka
It is in this context that PM Modi can take a lesson from Indira Gandhi.
Back in 1971, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had intervened outside the Tribunal, to bring relief to the drought-hit state and had allotted five tmc of water to Chennai for drinking water.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had written a detailed letter to PM explaining the severe shortage of rains that the state is experiencing in Cauvery delta areas and regions. Even after the court ordered the release of Cauvery water, Siddaramaiah had written letter seeking his intervention.
The Central Ministers from the state – Ananth Kumar, D V Sadananda Gowda, State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa, Opposition leader in Karnataka Assembly Jagadish Shettar have blamed that the ruling government should have involved more pro-actively in the Cauvery issue.
Instead the BJP leaders in Karnataka should have should along with the ruling government to pressurise the central government.
"The verdict which emerged is really unfortunate. As there is little water in Karnataka, it would not be possible to release water. At least now PM should intervene to resolve the issue," says Dinesh Gundurao, KPCC working president.
Besides the drinking water needs, there is also the problem of the farming community in Karnataka.
"Union Government should make mind at least now to intervene in this crucial matter and resolve drinking water issue and priority shall be given to ‘drinking’ while chalking out solution, " says leading Kannada litterateur, Devanuru Mahadeva
"If any water-related issue comes up in any state, top priority would be given for ‘drinking’. Farmers of Cauvery-basin regions lying in Karnataka are marginal and poor farmers unlike farmers who are rich and affluent in Tamil Nadu who don’t understand problems faced by the poor farming community," Mahadeva added.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:43 PM