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Cauvery dispute and its solutions

The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed has been rightly coined by Mahatma Gandhi. Karnataka wants to take care of meeting the drinking needs of the people of Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu wants water for its samba crops. It is of paramount priority to first look after the needs of the people of Karnataka before releasing water to Tamil Nadu. Giving water to Tamil Nadu at the cost of Karnataka farmers is not justifiable during monsoon failed years. In case excess water is available then releasing water to Tamil Nadu is not an issue. When there is scarse of water in Krishna Raja Saagar dam then how it is possible to release water to Tamil Nadu, is the biggest question posed by each and every Kannadiga, and it has become the talk of town today. The Supreme Court on September 5th 2016, ordered Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamilnadu for the next 10 days. There was violence and protests in Karnataka following the verdict of the apex court. Once the Supreme Court passes an order it becomes a legal obligation for each and every one to obey it as it is the highest court of justice. Amid protests in several parts of Karnataka by farmers, Karnataka started releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu to abide by the Supreme Court directive. Once the protests and violence became more intense, Karnataka stopped Cauvery release to Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court then showed displeasure at Karnataka government for citing public turmoil as reason for seeking modification of its September 5th order to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. The bench of justices refused Karnataka's plea to completely stop releasing water to Tamil Nadu and reduced the amount of water to be released from 15,000 to 12,000 cusecs of water. The Supreme Court orders added more pain to the existing wound, as Karnataka was passing through a serious drinking water crisis.

Agitated farmers and Pro Kannada activists blocked the Bangalore-Mysore highway as protests intensified on Supreme Court's call to release water to Tamil Nadu. Mandya district saw a bandh with protestors holding road blockades and dharnas at several places. Protestors mobbed and ransacked several government offices in Mandya forcing to shut down. Shops, hotels and other commercial establishments remained shut and schools and colleges declared a holiday. The protestors burnt effigy of TN chief minister Jayalalitha at several places. The Bangalore city was filled with violence with one man killed and over 100 vehicles set ablaze by pro Karnataka activists. The effect of the violence was such that majority of shops in the city downed their shutters. The bus services came to a halt and the city experienced a standstill halt. Interstate bus services between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was also suspended. The government officials told the public not to resort to agitation and to keep calm as they were making all efforts to protect the interests of the farmers.

In such situations we should not give way to violence or protests, we are two states but belong to one nation, and river Cauvery belongs to all of us. Every drop counts, so we should make maximum utilization of existing water and do not waste water unnecessary. Under such circumstances we should resolve the issue peacefully and calmly and not resort to protests and violence. Some of the solutions which can be incorporated are mentioned below:-

Conservation methods like rain water harvesting and preserving existing rivers can lessen the burden on Cauvery for satisfying the drinking needs of the people of Karnataka, Bangalore in particular. If Karnataka releases water, Tamil Nadu can give money or power as power is scarce in Karnataka, policies like Live and let live should be followed. Projects like dam construction, reservoirs should be undertaken to store the rain water, instead of allowing it to flow towards oceans. Water should be used very effectively as very drop matters. Plan growing the seeds as per the monsoons and water availability. During monsoon failure, crops which require less water can be grown and during good monsoon rains crops requiring more water can be grown. Drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation methods should be followed to provide water for the crops.

- K.P.Nagasaritha

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