Chennai/Bangalore: The Centre on Wednesday notifed the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal ending a six-year-long wait triggering celebrations in Tamil Nadu and protests in Karnataka.
"This is the best birthday present that I could ever had in my life.," said an elated Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, who will turn 65 on February 24.
But her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar asked the Centre not to constitute the Cauvery Management Board till the disposal of civil appeals filed by the State in Supreme Court
Terming the notification as a "great victory for me and my government", particularly the delta farmers, Jayalalithaa said, "since the final award has been notified, it becomes binding on Karnataka" to release water.
"....Hereafter Karnataka cannot refuse to obey the order of the tribunal", the AIADMK supremo said, adding, Tamil Nadu was "literally at the mercy of Karnataka all these years."
Noting that the notification marks the culmination of a 22-year-long struggle, Jayalalithaa, hoped that Tamil Nadu would receive its due share and when there was distress "we will abide by the directions given in the final order, final award of the Tribunal as to how distress should be shared."
Farmers in delta region welcomed the notification with bursting of crackers. DMK chief M Karunanidhi and other leaders also hailed the Centre`s action.
The notification, however, sparked protests in Karnataka with members of Kannada outfit, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, staging demonstrations in Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore.
Shettar said there is no law to say that the Board has to be constituted.
"It (clearance for the proposed Board) has to come before Parliament, and there has to be discussions. Under law, there is room for amendment," he added.