Forced to take a break !
Sorry for the break folks.
I dont have internet access at the moment. For you smart alecs, I am typing this post from a friends computer.
Quick views on a couple of news items:
The Cauvery dispute : Is this a water issue or a conflict resolution issue ?
The water to be released to TN has actually been scaled down from 205TMC in the interim award to 192TMC. 13TMC is a big big deal, it can irrigate 40K acres. So, why is the media not highliting this ?
There are major bureaucratic hurdles to be overcome before KA will release the due share. It is the responsibility of the TN government to apply pressure to ensure that these bureaucratic hurdles are overcome.
1) After the final award, each party has 3 months to file a review petition. Note, this is not an appeal, just a request to review the award. It looks like both TN and KA will file a review petition.
2) There is no timeframe after the review petitions are filed for the tribunal to announce its final and binding award. The timeframe could be several years ?
3) After the final award, there is a step called “gazette notification”, also called “gazetting”. Only after the gazette notification, will the actual employees at the dam site open the sluice gates. This notification has to be done by the central government led by the UPA. The KA government is now trying hard to stop the central government from notifying the award. The gazette notification is the critical step, it was after the notification that major riots broke out in Bangalore in Dec 1991.
Is the award fair ?
That is a separate issue. I have no idea because I do not have access nor the expertise to judge the arguments placed by the two governments. I believe the arguments placed by both states before the tribunal are not for public consumption. The important point is that if two parties agree to subject themselves to a conflict resolution mechanism – they must be willing to accept its conclusions. One argument of KA seems to be that, “KA is forced to share the spoils of the SW monsoon (192TMC) but TN gets to keep all of NE monsoon”. Where can you start dissecting this argument ? God has not created west flowing rivers from TN. KA must be free to build new projects to exploit its SW monsoon, but it cannot do these projects in such a way that it impacts the volume of flow into TN.
There is unfortunately a perception in TN that it has somehow gained by this final award. 13 TMC less is not a gain. At any rate, the government must push the UPA to gazette this order atleast.
There is more to this issue that I will write some time in the future. The issue dates back to the construction of a remarkable dam called Grand Anaicut by the king Karikala Cholan 2000 years back that paved the way for massive development of agriculture in the Cauvery Delta. This forms the basis for the historic claims of the delta farmers.
The true test of the TN government is whether is can protect the rights of these farmers in the face of a immature media and brinkmanship by Karnataka politicians.