Pains of Cauvery and Indus

Despite the contrasting developments in Cauvery and Indus, the grievances in both are similar and have common cause.

Written by Divya Spandana | Updated: October 6, 2016 4:41 pm
Cauvery, Cauvery water row, cauvery water dispute, Karnataka, tamil nadu cauvery, Supreme court on vauvery, Indus, Indus river, cauvery indus, indus deal, India news, indian express news Historically Cauvery was an international river which flowed from upper riparian princely State of Mysore to British Madras Presidency. (Photo for representational purpose)

Devising a water sharing treaty or agreement is a complex techno legal exercise but, a broad analysis can be made on what these deals are really and who benefits and who suffers. If we were to look at the Cauvery and Indus, one irresistible conclusion that arises in a common man is that Karnataka and India were wronged as upper riparian States by over jealous lower riparians.

Historically Cauvery was an international river which flowed from upper riparian princely State of Mysore to British Madras Presidency. Whereas, Indus was a national river flowed from Punjab province to Sind province. After independence and accession of Mysore in 1947 and reorganisation in 1956 the present Karnataka was established making Cauvery a national river, but partition in 1947, made Indus which was a national river into an international river.

Despite the contrasting developments in Cauvery and Indus, the grievances in both are similar and have common cause. Karnataka cries pleading for fair share in the water generated in its territory. What India does in Indus is the same- It is asking for more water for meeting the needs in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. But what is the hitch? Why can’t upper States get their fair share?

The problem lies in the historic natural flow theory. The dynamics of river is that water flows by gravity; so as Cauvery and Indus. The lower riparians have delta irrigation by natural system using antique methods to cultivate water guzzling crops like rice. The upper riparians are recent users from middle of 19th century after the advent of high dam technology. The natural flow theory was developed in 19th century in response to lower riparians cries as a crying baby. If the water has to be allowed to flow in a state of nature, the upper States have to be silent spectators.
Tamil Nadu got 80% of Cauvery water and Pakistan secured 75% of Indus water. The Cauvery deal dictated by imperial forces in 1924 sitting in London and Indus brokered by World Bank in 1960 have only rationalised the natural flow theory. The equity or needs were never considered.

The time has come to get rid off both Cauvery and Indus deals based on natural flow theory and have a fresh look on what is the equitable or fair share of the upper and lower States to achieve equitable division of waters.

For all the latest Blogs News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Abbiya
    Oct 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm
    It is not matter of good or bad English and Kannada. It is matter of justification .cauvery is original to karnataka. So the karnataka people keeping right it..forget begging business and black mailing. .the SC stupid judgement .that is basic difficulty for karnataka. Ms.Ramya you are right.
    Reply
    1. A
      Anandan
      Oct 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm
      The writer does not know either water history or law. Is Tamil Nadu getting 80% water?
      Reply
      1. D
        Divya
        Oct 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm
        This was the original 1924 agreement-
        Reply
        1. K
          Kannada First
          Oct 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm
          Ms.Ramya, I have watched several of your Kannada movies. I know that you can't speak proper English or even good Kannada.... Whom are you paying to write such articles for you???? Is IE checking whether the author is capable of writing such articles???
          Reply
          1. N
            NArayan
            Oct 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm
            The author should first convince her political bosses and convince them....
            Reply
            1. N
              NArayan
              Oct 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm
              The author should first convince her political bosses and convince them....
              Reply
              1. R
                Raider
                Oct 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm
                One thing I would say that just check an old map of the world and see the Aral sea its an inland sea in Central Asia in 1989 and 2015 you can see the difference that the Aral sea is almost wiped off the world map now because human changed its natural course to fit its own needs. If we goes on change the nature to our needs then we face such problems like climate change pollution etc. We India or Indian economy depends on rain if there is no rain our economy will not grow. So I request to authorities don't change the nature for money and power we have to blame ourselves
                Reply
                1. S
                  Senthilvel
                  Oct 6, 2016 at 6:12 pm
                  Then when it is flood why do you divert to TN. Cauvery blongs to TN, Kerala, Puducherry. Thats why centre sending the team to analyse the water level.
                  Reply
                  1. Load More Comments