The Cauvery Water Dispute has been a long-standing issue between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Recently, the Tamil Maanila Congress criticized MK Stalin for the unresolved dispute, stating that Tamil Nadu needs a bold Chief Minister. In Karnataka, the principal opposition BJP leader Basavaraj Ingin stated that the panel order is nothing but ‘pushing farmers into a debt trap’.
AS Munavar Basha, the General Secretary of the Tamil Maanila Congress, slammed MK Stalin and claimed that the Cauvery dispute remains unresolved due to the absence of a bold Chief Minister in Tamil Nadu. Basha’s response followed the recent decision of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) to instruct Karnataka to provide Tamil Nadu with 5,000 cusecs of water daily for the next 15 days until September 2nd.
Speaking to ANI, Basha said, “This is a victory for delta farmers. But at the same time, the Karnataka government will not obey the instructions because in Tamil Nadu we don’t have a bold Chief Minister. That is why this (the Cauvery issue) happened. Had he (MK Stalin) been a bold CM, he would have got the water released for the state without any commission or court’s direction…”
In Karnataka, Basavaraj Ingin, the principal opposition leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, stated that the directive from the panel is essentially forcing farmers into a cycle of debt. “Recent order of CWRC to the government of Karnataka is nothing but pushing farmers into a debt trap…When there is no water in Karnataka, besides Cauvery, the question of releasing water should not have arisen…Now the government of Karnataka will have to struggle hard,” Ingin said.
The Cauvery River serves as a crucial source of both irrigation and drinking water for a substantial population in the region. To address this issue, the Indian government established the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) on June 2, 1990. The CWDT’s purpose was to arbitrate conflicts among Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Puducherry concerning the allocation of water resources.
The Cauvery River basin is a transboundary region that begins in Karnataka and traverses Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry before eventually flowing into the Bay of Bengal. The entire geographical area that contributes to the Cauvery Basin spans 81,155 square kilometres. Among this, approximately 34,273 square kilometres are in Karnataka, 2,866 square kilometres are in Kerala, and 44,016 square kilometres are in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.