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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Cauvery verdict reaction in Karnataka: Anger and discontent, no violence as Tamil Nadu CM calls for friendship
There is widespread anger and disappointment in Karnataka over the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s judgment, delivered on Monday in New Delhi.

A bandh was called in some parts of Karnataka on Tuesday.

After protests in Mysore and Bangalore on Monday, the Karnataka authorities are not taking any chances.

Given the long history of violence connected with the Cauvery water sharing, security has been tightened in Bangalore and the three Cauvery basin districts of Mysore, Mandya and Chamrajnagar.

On Monday, flag marches were held in Mandya. All academic institutions in these areas are closed Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has called an all-party meeting to discuss the crisis.

The Cauvery dispute has always been a touchy issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for over 100 years.

The Tribunal's judgment is supposed to be permanent and it will be implemented by a regulatory authority.

But, Karnataka is likely to appeal against the Tribunal's order, which means that the implementation of the final order will be delayed at least by one year.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi has called for friendly ties between people in both States.

"We want closer ties between the Tamilians and Kannadigas in Karnataka, not a bandh," Karunanidhi said.

Karnataka is feeling shortchanged as it will now have to release over 10 tmc more water than what it does currently for Tamil Nadu.

Of the 740,000 million cubic feet of water that flows annually in the Cauvery river, Tamil Nadu is now entitled to 419 tmc.

Karnataka gets 270 tmc less than half of what it had demanded.

Kerala has been awarded 30 tmc, and Puducherry, 7 tmc.

The farmers in the Cauvery delta and political parties by and large have welcomed the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and demanded an independent monitoring mechanism to implement it.

S Renganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Association, said he was satisfied as it was an improvement over the interim award.

The Tribunal had given a lion’s share of utilisable flows in the Cauvery basin to Tamil Nadu, with 50% dependability.

Expressing happiness over the award, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president M Krishnaswamy said it was a welcome relief to the delta farmers. They had suffered too much in the last 16 years as Karnataka had failed to implement the interim award, he said.

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