ibnlive » India

Feb 03, 2007 at 11:18am IST

TN farmers fear Cauvery verdict

Tanjavur (Tamil Nadu): After over 16 years of dispute, the court judgement over sharing of Cauvery water is to be delivered by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). Ahead of the decision, farmers in Tamil Nadu are skeptical about their future.

The court will finally pronounce its verdict on February 5 and decide the fate of inter-state dispute between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry over sharing of the Cauvery waters.

The Cauvery delta region is home to nearly 40 lakh farmers. "If there's no Cauvery , then there's no life for us. Cauvery water is like blood to the body," says farmer Ambikapathi who owns four acres of land in Tanjavur.

"For many consecutive years we have not had water. People just could not live here so they left," he adds.

As the two-decade-long legal dispute inches towards conclusion, farmers find regional politics the biggest roadblock to finding a solution.

The Grand Anaicut is an ancient dam across the river Cauvery built in the 2nd century AD by chola dynasty. It marked the beginning of Cauvery delta region—home to over 12 lakh acres of paddy fields, contributing 40 percent to the state's produce.

“It’s a sensitive issue which should not be politicised or sensationalised,” says General Secretary, Cauvery Delta farmers welfare association.

It's perhaps time for politicians to remember that the Cauvery even in full flow is a deficit river and cannot satisfy the needs of both states. This may just be the time to forget the politics and listen to the farmers’ voice.