Monday, February 05, 2007

Life in Bangalore: Cauvery Tribunal Delivers Verdict - Will There Be Violence?

The Cauvery Tribunal, set up to adjudicate the Cauvery water dispute between the four Southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry, has delivered its verdit. Karnataka gets 270 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet of water, Tamil Nadu 419 tmc feet, Kerala 30 and Puducherry, 7 tmc feet of water. From the figures, Tamil Nadu appears to have received about roughly two-thirds of the average available every year, but both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu get less than what each had wanted.

The verdict is not the final word; Karnataka or Tamil Nadu may appeal to the tribunal and it is most likely that Karnataka will appeal.

Mandya, understandably, given that agriculture is the mainstay of most of its citizens, was and is the hot bed of the discontent on this issue and as expected, television channels have parked themselves in that town.

A news item in yesterday's newspapers about police being deployed all over Bangalore and in Mandya district in anticipation of violence in the wake of the Cauvery Tribunal verdict brought back memories of the chaos that enveloped Bangalore 16 years ago, in 1992. Schools and colleges and business establishments had shut down for more than a week because of the violence.

I debated this morning whether to send my son to school and phone calls to friends, parents of his classmates and to school administration officials allayed fears of violence. A driver who works in a neighbor's house even assured me that he had called his "contacts" in the area and he was told that there would be no violence, and even if there was, it would only be after 4:30 pm. How reassuring. A short while ago, though, two kids in my neighborhood from another school were sent home early as a precautionary measure. Television channels are confirming that some schools as well as some offices are closing down.

If your livelihood depends on water, then this cannot be good news for those constituents who had wanted and had hoped for more, which is basically people from both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Good rainy seasons over the past few years may have alleviated the problem somewhat, but this decision will have to be adhered to even in those years when the rains are not as abundant.

We will have to wait and see exactly what this decision means and I am sure the talking heads will have a field day with this issue in the coming weeks. What we also need is for cooler heads to prevail, so that violence does not overpower a calm consideration of the issues.


Karnataka has stopped telecasting Tamil channels and Tamil Nadu has suspended bus services to Karnataka. The Karnataka Raitara Sangha has termed the decision 'unfair'.

Update 2:

The state government has declared a holiday today (Tuesday, Feb. 6th) for schools and colleges in Bangalore (urban and rural areas), Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts.

The Akhila Karnataka Gadi Horata Samiti has called for a state-wide bandh on Thursday, Feb. 8th in protest against the verdict.
Deccan Herald.



Unknown said...

for political mileage - anything can happen... either side is capable of cruel things... hope common people are safe..

Sujatha Bagal said...

Hope so too. A statewide bundh has been called for Feb 8th. Not sure what will happen tomorrow though.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand what tv channels and bus services have to do with it. Wish we could grow up.

Sujatha Bagal said...

... and cars with TN registration plates. I overheard some people saying they are not going anywhere because their driver warned them not to drive around in a car with TN reg plates.

Anonymous said...

It is a very unjust verdict owing to the pressure tactics of TN and the nerveless Congress government in the center

krishnachaitanya said...

No where in the TV channels i have seen the number of people or farmers who come from each area , and why the tribunal has given such decision ..And what will be done , if there are no rains in Karntaka itself ...

Sujatha Bagal said...

Krishna and anon, follow these links from Desi Pundit, perhaps it will start to make sense. I'm looking for a lot of into as well.

Anonymous said...

Sri Sri Free Free, the sooth sayer of Bangalore also did not do anything to stop the violence. What a influential man ?