The Cauvery dispute verdict from the Supreme Court on Friday, February 16, has brought a smile on the face of Kannadigas. Karnataka has been asked to release 177.25 TMC water to Tamil Nadu (every year) against 192 TMC water, which was decided earlier. Karnataka has got 14.75 TMC water more than the earlier agreement.
And although this is a victory for Karnataka, the state's Congress government had hardly any role to play in it. It hardly put up a fight in the previous hearings and meekly accepted the judgements with any protest. This after several farmers committed suicide in the drought-prone areas of Karnataka.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament from Bengaluru, lauded the Supreme Court's decision saying, "Supreme Court seems to be fair to Karnataka despite the inept handling of the case by the Siddaramaiah govt in the early stages – which was reversed because of severe criticism from people including me. Arguably if the legal strategy had been planned better then, it is possible that Karnataka could have got an increased award of more than the 10 TMC because we depend far more on Cauvery for agricultural needs, unlike Tamil Nadu."
He also highlighted the importance of the judgement, calling it a landmark hearing over the oldest water-sharing dispute in the nation.
"This judgment must mark a real pivot — a change in how people of Karnataka and Bengaluru look at the issue of water security, especially when the city’s traditional water sources — its lakes and groundwater are being callously destroyed by an apathetic government machinery. I hope that now realisation grows about how water is now an even more finite resource and that a new culture of management and conservation of water will emerge focusing on rebuilding and recharging our lakes and groundwater in Namma Bengaluru,” he further added.
While the current government had everything at its disposal, the support of the people and a genuine problem at hand to turn decisions in the previous hearings towards the state's favour, it faltered to deliver. However, the Supreme Court has clearly understood Karnataka's woes better than its own government and passed the right decision.