Welcoming the constitution of a Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) by the Centre, the Tamil Nadu government has hailed it as a "grand victory for the "Amma (Jayalalithaa) government" and the state's farmers.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami expressed joy and recalled the various efforts of the ruling AIADMK on the Cauvery dispute, including the late party supremo J Jayalalithaa going on a fast in the 1990s on the issue.
The CMA had been set up following the AIADMK government's sustained efforts and legal battles, he added.
AIADMK leaders had observed a fast while opposition parties in the state staged protests in April demanding constitution of the CMA.
Acting on the Supreme Court's direction, the Centre has constituted the CMA to address the dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry and issued a gazette notification.
"This is a grand victory for the Amma government and Tamil Nadu's farmers," Palaniswami said in a statement yesterday adding the rights of Tamil Nadu and farmers' livelihood "have been retrieved."
Jayalalithaa is fondly addressed as Amma by her supporters.
Recalling the time-line of the Cauvery dispute, he also detailed the latest legal battle for water sharing, with the Supreme Court giving its final verdict in February this year.
The court had asked the Centre to formulate a scheme for implementation of its verdict, which led to the latter proposing to set up the present authority, he pointed out.
On his directions, Tamil Nadu government's counsel had in the apex court strongly argued for setting up an empowered Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee, he noted.
Palaniswami said he had written to Prime minister Narendra Modi on May 26 seeking that Cauvery Water Management Authority and CWRC be notified in the central gazette before the onset of the monsoon.
On February 16, the apex court had directed the government to form the CMA within six weeks in a verdict that marginally increased Karnataka's share of Cauvery water, reduced the allocation for Tamil Nadu and sought to settle the protracted water dispute between the two southern states.
In the gazette notification, the Ministry of Water Resources said it has framed a scheme constituting the CMA and the CWRC to give effect to the decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court order.