After the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) joined the 48-hour state-wide ‘rail roko’ protest called by a farmer’s federation demanding the central government’s intervention in setting up of the Cauvery Management Board in the ongoing Cauvery water, DMK leader TKS Elangovan on Monday said that the ruling government in Tamil Nadu is waiting for the Supreme Court’s orders and the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board.
“The farmers are suffering, there is no water, and crops from three seasons have failed. About 17 to 18 lakh hectares of land is without water. Where will the farmers go? They have to commit suicide. So, just to impress this upon the government of India, the strike was called for. At least now the government of India should put pressure on the government of Karnataka to form the management board so that the control of Cauvery goes to the management and the water is released to the farmers,” Elangovan said.
DMK Members of Parliament on Friday sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s invention and a direction to the Water Resources Ministry to constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board, as envisaged in the Interstate Water Disputes Act 1956, at the earliest, and save farmers of Tamil Nadu.
TKS Elangovan stressed on the fact that the responsibility totally falls on the government of India under the Inter-State Water Dispute Act 1956 and that is what they presented to the honorable President. Even though Article 262 prohibits the intervention of the Supreme Court, the authority vests with the government of India.
“Inter-State Water Dispute is an act of Parliament and the government is responsible for constituting a management board immediately after the notification of the Tribunal award,” he added.
Speaking to ANI about the political parties in Tamil Nadu hesitating to come together in unison, Elangovan said that the parties just wanted political mileage. It was the DMK which was the reason for the constitution of the Cauvery Tribunal and the final award came during DMK’s tenure.
“There are management boards for Krishna-Godavari and many other rivers in the country. There such problems did not arise. Here, now that Karnataka is going to elections next year, the BJP just wants to please the people of Karnataka,” he added.
A 48-hour rail roko agitation has been called by the farmers’ organisations on October 17 and 18. The protests come days after a high-level technical team, set up by the Supreme Court, completed its inspection of Cauvery basin region in Tamil Nadu to assess the situation in the state.
The apex court had set up the team while hearing a petition by Tamil Nadu government seeking release of Cauvery water by Karnataka. The team, which also inspected the Cauvery basin in Karnataka, is set to submit its report in the apex court today.