Chennai, Nov 8: The Tamil Nadu Government today expressed concern over Kerala’s reported move to construct a dam across the Pambar river and sought the Centre’s intervention, saying the issue came under the ambit of the Cauvery dispute.
Drawing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention towards ‘disconcerting reports’ about Kerala’s plan to construct a dam with a storage capacity of about 2 tmcft across the river at Pattisserry there, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam insisted that the Pambar was a tributary of river Amaravathy, “which, in turn, is a tributary of the river Cauvery.”
He cited reports that Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had laid the foundation stone for this project recently and that preliminary works have been taken up, adding “this has caused anxiety, deep anguish and uncertainty amongst the farmers of Tamil Nadu.”
“It is apprehended that the irrigation and drinking water supply in the entire area dependent on the Amaravathy river will be affected if the Government of Kerala is allowed to build the dam and obstruct the flow of water to Amaravathy reservoir (in Tirupur district),” he told Modi in a letter.
Kerala’s move was in violation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as any new project should have the approval of the Cauvery Management Board and the specific consent of the downstream State of Tamil Nadu, he added.
He said his predecessor and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s repeated demands to the Centre on constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee for effective implementation of the Tribunal’s final order have “not been favourably considered till now.”
“In the absence of an appropriate mechanism, namely, the Cauvery Management Board, it will not be possible to monitor the execution of new projects by the party States,” he said.
Engineers from the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department had visited the site on Friday and have said though work has not yet started, “it was ascertained that Government of Kerala may start the work very soon in view of the reports regarding laying of the foundation stone.”
He urged Modi to advise Kerala not to proceed with the proposed construction of the dam across the Pambar at Pattisserry or any other scheme on the river.
Panneerselvam also sought the Centre’s direction to Kerala that the latter furnish full details of schemes proposed by it in the Pambar sub-basin and further request the State not to proceed with any of the projects, in any manner, till CMB was set up and the consent of the Tamil Nadu Government obtained.