DMK Chief M Karunanidhi today said the prospects of ensuing ‘kuruvai’ (short-term crop) looked bleak in Tamil Nadu in the backdrop of drought in the Cauvery delta and sought to know what steps government proposed to take to address farmers’ concerns. In a statement here,he also recalled Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah’s statement that his state could seek a review of the 2007 final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
On June 6,Siddaramiah had said the 2007 award of the Tribunal had stated that after five years,the required amendment could be made by reviewing the quantum of water to be released every month. “Since five years have elapsed,it’s good time to request a review,” he had said.
Karunanidhi,however,contested Siddaramiah,and quoting Dravidar Kazhagam chief K Veeramani,said the five year period should be calculated from the date of notification of the award (February 2013) and not the year the verdict was given.
The 90 year-old DMK patriarch said water should be released from Mettur Dam tomorrow,as is the practice every year. However there was disappointment among farmers with no signs of the sluice gates being opened due to low storage levels. Due to shortage of water last year also,the acreage under crops had shrunk,he said. “I insist that the government clarify what (steps) it proposes to ensure the livelihood of farmers and that whether kuruvai crops could be taken up this year,” he said.