Tamil Nadu BJP president said that ED shouldn't be criticised for the actions of an individual.
In the heart of south India, the Cauvery River flows as an embodiment of vitality and sustenance. Yet, this majestic river has also become a symbol of division and discord, as the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, along with Kerala and Puducherry, continue their relentless battle over its waters. As another chapter in this ongoing saga unfolds, it is time to find common ground and resolve this enduring dispute. The Cauvery River dispute revolves around the allocation of water resources during times of scarcity, distribution during normal years and the construction of reservoirs and dams. While this dispute’s history is well-documented, the road to resolution remains elusive.
It is clear that the river’s waters are vital for the livelihoods of millions, from farmers to city dwellers. The dispute has seen numerous agreements, disagreements and legal battles. The establishment of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in 1990 was a notable step towards resolution, culminating in a ruling in 2007 outlining water allocati- on among the riparian states. However, implementation challenges and periodic discontent with the tribunal’s judgment have persisted. The Supreme Court’s declartion of the Cauvery River as a national resource in 2018 upheld the CWDT’s water-sharing arrangements but did not bring a definitive end to the dispute. In the on-going impasse, Karnataka is citing reduced rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area as justification for lower water releases while Tamil Nadu insists on higher quantities.
Political rhetoric adds another layer of complexity, raising questions about whether politics trumps the welfare of the people. To move forward, we must look beyond the history and the legalities, focusing on solutions that prioritise equity and sustainability. One innovative approach could be to establish a neutral, multi-stakeholder commission comprising experts in water management, environmentalists and representatives from all affected states. This commission should actively engage with local communities and gather data to develop a dynamic water-sharing formula. The formula should account for fluctuations in rainfall and prioritise the needs of both agricultural and urban areas.
Furthermore, it is crucial to shift the focus from contentious water disputes to proactive water management. The riparian states must invest in modernising irrigation practices, promoting rainwater harvesting and implementing water-efficient technologies. This shift towards sustainability benefits all, conserving water for future generations.
Transparency and accountability are essential. A real-time monitoring system should be established to track water levels, rainfall patterns and crop water requirements. Public access to this data can foster trust among the riparian states and reduce the likelihood of disputes. For a resolution, we need to look beyond old grievances and political posturing. The path forward lies in novel, equitable solutions that prioritise cooperation, sustainability and the welfare of all those who depend on this vital lifeline. It’s time to bridge divides and let the Cauvery River symbolise unity and prosperity for all. There is another aspect to the imbroglio; three of the major states involved are members of the INDIA alliance. If they can find a solution without taking recourse to courts or tribunals, it would underscore their ability to work together, an issue over which several questions have been raised.