Whose Cauvery is it Anyway?


Rishi Agasthya would say she is his, Kannadigas claim their stake to her while the Tamilians wager on her at all costs! While Sage Agasthya had her confined as Lopamudra in a Kamandala, (pot used by hermits that has water in it) probably foreseeing the wrath, if she was let loose until Lord Ganesha came to the rescue of kannadigas by overturning the pot and all hell breaking loose for the ensuing centuries. Then came along the tamilians, though not necessarily in this order, fighting for a share of the pie, with the strong contention that about 44,000 square kilometres of the state is covered by this river’s basin!

As the states and all stakeholders battle it out, the apex court throws a spanner in their wheels and thus the logjam continues and the freewheeling citizens, with politicians as their patrons, become the show stoppers!


The forlorn image of the lady with precious water trickling out of the pot would soon become a reality, thus bringing in its wake a final closure to this claim story. The river would soon become mythical like the Saraswati as a consequence of a deluge of reasons (and not rain!) inclined towards repeated failure of monsoons, the river being primarily rain fed, alarming rise in the population of Bengaluru with a surge of water connections from the Cauvery directly proportional to vote bank politics, the expanding villages, towns and cities along the river bank encroaching into the water bodies, a global climatic change caused by the rapid melting of the glaciers, excessive damming and diversion for irrigation and agriculture. Well, the very purpose of jumping on the bandwagon along with scores of others who are contributing their might indulging in the most debated topic in recent years, was not to reduce myself to the convention and be a part of the mockery that I have so vehemently and cynically opposed to, but to provide quick fix solution against the background of a teeming city growing by leaps and bounds and the daily consumption of water increasing manifold (cannot fathom how much that is!). A simple exercise on the numbers game is leaving me gasping – a typical street, with a measurement of a couple of kilometres in length and roughly with half a dozen cross roads, such as mine has an average of 30 apartments (if not more but for the sake of accommodating the astronomical figure of population rise in my brain, I peg it at that number) with an average number of flats of 100, which means a community of 3000 units and multiply it with about four members living in each and this works out to 1,20,000, add to this, the independent houses, maybe around 1000 with a total dwelling of 1,24,000 people applying the same logic (the hypothesis is that we are firmly following “We two, Ours two” population policy as envisaged by our administrators!) The number of such streets in Bengaluru is mind boggling with a road network of roughly 3000 kilometres and simply beyond me; all this mammoth growth happening in the last couple of years and each one of these houses getting the Cauvery water connection after waiting with open arms and mouths and gaping holes in wallets, caused by paying a hefty sum for the connection. What is the rationale and logic for this scale of water drawing from a dwindling water source and who is the jurisprudence for sanctioning without working out on the volume of output as against the trickling inputs!

Amidst the fury and frenzy, chaos and confusion, trials and tribulations (also read as tribunals), blaze and broil, let us set aside the proprietary rights and look at realistic solutions such as desalination of ocean water, linking of nearby abundant rivers that are in spate quite frequently and decongesting cities which need to be done on a war footing and outsmarting the time element!

Shared with permission from Sunita

Featured image(Cauvery Sangama at Srirangapatna)

 courtesy our contributor Pushpaanjali

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