The state government informed through a press release on Wednesday that members of a farmers' association had urged the chief minister to attend the function. After meeting the farmers at the Secretariat, Jayalalithaa acceded to their demand.
The ryots feel that she put pressure on the Centre and at last it notified the final award despite strong objections from Karnataka. Though the tribunal had allocated 419 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu in Feb 2007 itself, the award was not notified until the Supreme Court ordered the central government to do so by Feb 20, 2013.
A delegation of leaders representing the major political parties in Karnataka even met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Feb 18 and asked him to not notify the tribunal's award as per which their state will get only 270 tmc ft.
Neither the Jagadish Shettar-led government nor pro-Kannada outfits were happy with this quantum of water as Karnataka had sought as much as 465 tmc ft. In their memorandum to the PM, the delegation noted that "the tribunal has over-estimated the crop water requirement of Tamil Nadu".
Karnataka's objections were not taken into account by the tribunal and it took a decision merely on the basis of "self-serving affidavits of Tamil Nadu", the delegation said.
It stressed that "the very basis of allocation of water to Tamil Nadu needs to be revisited." However, the PM could not help but comply with the deadline set by the apex court.
Incidentally, Tamil Nadu too did not get anything near its orginal claim. Instead of the 562 tmc ft it argued was necessary to irrigate crops in the Cauvery delta, the state had to rest content with 143 tmc ft less than its demand.
The tribunal also awarded 30 tmc ft to Kerala and 7 tmc ft to Pondichery.