Inter-state water disputes in India are highly politicized. The Hogenakkal project is no different. In the welter of claims over it, Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily has now suggested that it was Sonia Gandhi’s intervention that deferred the project so that the escalating tension in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka could be defused.
It’s time our politicians realized that water is too important a resource to be squabbled over or held ransom to partisan politics. A national water policy is the need of the day.
Distribution ought to be need-based and made on techno-economic criteria instead of political apportionment. This might seem difficult as “need” usually invites politics one way or the other. That is not necessary. The Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was ultimately resolved on technical criteria. Other similar disputes are equally amenable to such resolution. Their resolution requires a spirit of acceptance—something that our politicians do not possess.