A message is circulating on WhatsApp today asking the people of Karnataka to support the Karnataka Bundh. I was reading through it and felt that it had some serious logic and we probably have to understand the complexity of the grave situation we are in. The message also discusses the reality of the situation keeping the emotional and the sentimental part of it aside.
I realized a few things trying to read through that message. It discusses the issues at the grassroots level. This water sharing is done by politicians and fundamentalists rather than by ecologists.
The length of Kaveri River is 800 kilometer, 320 Km in Karnataka and the remaining 480 km in Tamil Nadu (and Kerala border). Tamil Nadu state constructed 3 dams (Mettur, Bhavani Sagar, and Amaravathi) which has a total capacity of 136 TMC of water. There are 3 dams constructed by Karnataka (KRS, Kabini, and Harangi) which has a total capacity of 104 TMC of water. Karnataka requires 81 TMC of water to cater drinking water requirements and water for farming. However, the total water currently available in all the 3 dams is only 56 TMC, out of which 22 TMC water is a dead water (below the dam gates). This statistics highlights that Karnataka has a scarcity of 47 TMC of water. On the contrary, Tamil Nadu claims for 20 TMC of water so that the state is able to satisfy the demands of its farmers for growing commercial crops in March 2017. Tamil Nadu’s irrigated lands had grown over the last 3-5 decades from an area of 1,440,000 acres to 2,580,000 acres, there is 1,140,000 forest land has been converted to farming land. While Karnataka’s irrigated area stood at 680,000 acres, no changes to the irrigated lands. Tamil Nadu demanding the additional share of the water to sustain its additional agricultural activity.
With 90% of the monsoon season over and little or no further rainfall expected, Karnataka is facing a serious shortage of water to drink also. At this moment Tamil Nadu Government is demanding for 20 TMC of water which they will be utilizing for the summer commercial crop. This is the heights of greed and political oppression that Tamil Nadu is trying to have on us. It is time for us to raise our voices stand hand in hand and oppose this act and show our unity to them. We may have our set of regional differences; we may have different opinions on various issues. But this is the water that we drink, this is the water that we depend on. And more than everything it is something with which we attach our emotions with. We have to raise our voices against the oppression. And making this “a Just another Bundh doesn’t serve the purpose. We have to pressurize the governments, the lawyers who represent our state, and fight until the justice is served. The state government also has to stay strong and act keeping the interests of the state in mind and keeping it ahead of all political viewpoints . I hope that this kind of a transformation happens. Let’s support Karnataka Bundh and be a part of it.