Experts blame it on less rain, ‘flawed’ cropping pattern

NEW DELHI: While violence cannot be justified at any cost, there are factors that need to be established to understand the ongoing water war between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

editorial@tribune.com

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 13

While violence cannot be justified at any cost, there are factors that need to be established to understand the ongoing water war between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

At the heart of the current unrest over the Cauvery river water dispute is prolonged monsoon deficiency in Karnataka, the cropping pattern in the two states and the “adhoc manner” in which the vexed problem has been dealt with in the past few days, experts say.

Calling for long-term water management and institutional resolution to the long-pending contentious issue, environment expert Himanshu Thakkar believes “interlinking of rivers”, which some believe is one of the solutions, is “certainly not” an answer.

Both the states continue to be engaged in “unsustainable water intensive cropping pattern” — all of which must change if the aim is to finalise a lasting solution to the problem, Thakkar says. The “adhoc manner” in which the situation has been addressed over the past few days is a result of total lack of understanding of the ground situation and realities, he adds.

While farmers in Tamil Nadu continue to be engaged in traditional form of two to three paddy crops in a year in Karnataka is a mix of both paddy and sugarcane.

Thakkar says, “The SC should not have entertained Tamil Nadu’s plea and instead asked it to approach the temporary supervisory committee set up to resolve issues till the constitution of Cauvery Management Board as per the Tribunal order, which is pending.”

The ground situation, experts say, is different for the way the problem has been handled in the “most adhoc manner”.

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