Tamil Nadu farmers say they feel betrayed after the Centre failed to meet the apex court’s deadline to frame a draft scheme.

Highly disappointing TN farmers accuse SC Centre of failing state on Cauvery
news Cauvery Issue Thursday, May 03, 2018 - 19:37

“Justice delayed is justice denied. Supreme Court and Centre have once again failed TN farmers,” says farmer leader Ayyakannu to TNM. 

His reaction comes after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to file an affidavit by May 8 on the steps it has taken to draft a scheme to ensure that its February order regarding water sharing is implemented. The latest direction comes after the Centre failed to meet the apex court’s deadline on Thursday with regard to framing a draft scheme. Attorney General KK Venugopal had informed the court that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers did not have time to draft the scheme owing to the campaigning in the Karnataka Assembly Elections.  

The top court had also ordered the Karnataka government to release 4 TMC water to TN or face dire consequences. 

“Soon after SC’s February verdict, we were supposed to get 2 TMC water every month until June. What will 4 TMC fulfil? Our kuruvai crop cultivation hangs by the thread now,” Ayyakannu fumes. 

Going on to add that TN farmers have been betrayed, he says they will continue their protests outside PM’s residence in Delhi until justice is served. “We are still hopeful. We hope the May 8 judgement will be in our favour. A strong Cauvery Water Management Board has to be set up. It has to take into consideration the amount of rainfall, area of cultivation in Karnataka and TN and distribute water accordingly. We will settle for no less,” he says.

The sentiment is the same among other farmers in the state as well. Dheivasigamani a functionary of the farmer’s Union asks, “This is highly disappointing. Supreme Court has said that they’ll have to release the water ‘within’ May. Karnataka is going to have its elections on May 12. Who knows how long it will be before they finally release the water?” He goes on to add that not having a strong unity among leaders in Tamil Nadu is also another reason for the delay in setting up the board. 

PR Pandian of the TN Farmer’s Association raises a number of questions as to why Supreme Court is not strongly condemning the Centre’s lack of interest in setting up the board. “SC is trying to divert people’s attention by awarding 4 TMC water. Why isn't the Water Resources Minister being questioned? Who is the SC trying to protect?”

Pandian also adds that TN farmer’s livelihood is at stake and that this national problem need to be addressed soon. 

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