Shutdown over Cauvery water release brings normal life to standstill in Karnataka

| Updated: Sep 09, 2016 22:45 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Sept.9 (ANI): A state-wide shutdown in Karnataka over the disputed release of waters from the Cauvery River brought life to a grinding halt in the region on Friday. The shutdown had its greatest impact in Bengaluru and Mandya. The release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu as per the orders of the Supreme Court led Kannada organisations to call for a state-wide shutdown. Kannada film actors, directors and artists held protests seeking justice for the farmers in the state. "A protest march was held from from 11 a.m. from Town Hall to Freedom Park. In this march, more than 5,000 people took part. To ensure that nothing untoward happens, we have made elaborate police arrangements. Armed police and central police were deployed for this march," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sandeep Patil. There was one incident of disturbance reported from Bellary where Tamil Nadu registered lorries were pelted with stones. Shops and establishments remained closed. Protesters held protests outside Central Government offices such as BSNL and Post office and asked employees to show their solidarity with the shutdown. Professionals,technocrats, doctors, lawyers and engineers also supported the shutdown and demanded a permanent solution to the decades-long Cauvery water dispute. Friday was the fourth day of the protest in Karnataka against the apex court's order asking the state to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery River to Tamil Nadu for ten consecutive days. The genesis of this conflict rests in two agreements of 1892 and 1924 between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and Princely State of Mysore. The 802 kilometre-long Cauvery river has a 44,000 square kilomter basin area in Tamil Nadu and a 32,000 square kilomter basin area in Karnataka. Karnataka contends that it does not receive its due share of water from the river. It claims that the agreements were skewed heavily in favour of the Madras Presidency, and has demanded a renegotiated settlement based on "equitable sharing of the waters". Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, pleads that it has already developed almost 3,000,000 acres (12,000 square kilometer) of land and as a result has come to depend very heavily on the existing pattern of usage. Any change in this pattern, it says, will adversely affect the livelihood of millions of farmers in the state. Decades of negotiations between the parties bore no fruit. The Centre then constituted a tribunal in 1990 to look into the matter. After hearing arguments of all the parties involved for the next 16 years, the tribunal delivered its final verdict on February 5, 2007. In its then verdict, the tribunal allocated 419 billion ft³ of water annually to Tamil Nadu and 270 billion ft³ to Karnataka; 30 billion ft³ of the river water to Kerala and 7 billion ft³ to Puducherry. (ANI)