CHENNAI/ TIRUCHY: After a gap of 11 years, the State government has called for an all-party meeting on the Cauvery water dispute on February 22. The meeting, to be chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, follows the recent verdict of the Supreme Court that reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water by 14.75 tmc ft citing groundwater availability in the state.The meeting will be held at the Namakkal Kavignar Maligai conference hall at Fort St George at 10.30 am.
The decision to call for the meeting was taken at a high-level meet chaired by Palaniswami at the Secretariat. “The State government is consulting legal experts regarding the SC verdict. The views of leaders of all parties will be elicited during the meeting and a decision will be taken on the next course of action,” an official release said.The last all-party meeting on the Cauvery took place on April 15, 2007 during the previous DMK regime. It was chaired by the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
A few days ago, reacting to the verdict, the CM said the DMK was trying to create an impression that the verdict had snatched away the rights of Tamil Nadu despite the fact that many rights of the State were indeed established by the verdict. However, the opposition parties have been urging the State government to convene the all-party meeting. Welcoming the State government’s decision, DMK working president MK Stalin, in a statement, said his party would attend the meeting to convey its constructive views on the next course of action to be taken on this issue.
He also said the all-party meeting called by the DMK stood cancelled. Stalin also requested the State government to invite the leaders of various farmers associations too to the meeting so that they would be able to express their views. Official sources said the leaders of farmers associations too were likely to be invited for the meeting. Meanwhile, with the final verdict on the vexatious Cauvery water sharing dispute pronounced, farmers in Tiruchy have urged the Union government to constitute the Cauvery Management Board within six weeks as directed by Supreme Court and also wanted the body to have more teeth.
Emphasizing these demands and a few others, farmers affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam and Nathigal Pathugappu Koottamaippu (Federation to protect rivers) on Monday staged protests in front of the collector’s office before submitting the petition to the collector. Simultaneously, farmers attached to the Tamizhaga Yeri, Aatru Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam led by P Vishwanathan picketed the office of the superintending engineer of the PWD - Water Resources Organization.
Puliyur A Nagarajan, state president of TMC’s farmers wing, who participated in the agitation at the collectorate, said “We condemn Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah for opposing the setting up of the board. Instead of seeing it as the humanitarian issue, he always considers it as a political issue.”
Farmer leaders’ presence
Official sources said the leaders of farmers associations too were likely to be invited for the meeting
The decision to call for the meeting was taken at a high-level meet chaired by Palaniswami at the Secretariat
The last all-party meeting on the Cauvery took place on April 15, 2007 during the previous DMK regime. It was chaired by the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi