TN opposes check dams on Bhavani river by Kerala, petitions PMtext_fields
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to advise neighbouring Kerala to immediately halt the construction work of check dams across the inter-state Bhavani river, saying the projects would affect the flow of water to the state.
Citing reports that Kerala "plans to construct six check dams" across the Bhavani, a tributary of the Cauvery, he said this had caused great concern and anxiety among the people of Tamil Nadu who were dependent on the Cauvery basin for irrigation and drinking water requirements.
"The government of Tamil Nadu conveys its strong objection to the construction of check dams by Kerala across the Bhavani river, without obtaining the prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and in violation of the final order of the (Cauvery Water Disputes) tribunal," Panneerselvam wrote in a letter to Modi.
He said the people (of western Tamil Nadu) were dependent on the waters of the Cauvery basin including that of the Bhavani, for irrigation and drinking water requirements.
The Kerala government had commenced the earth work for laying the foundation of check dams at Thekkuvattai, Manjikandi and Padavayal, Panneerselvam added.
Noting that the special leave petitions filed by Kerala and Karnataka challenging the Cauvery tribunals 2007 final order and that of Tamil Nadu (related to certain aspects of it) were pending in the Supreme Court, he said they were set to come up for hearing on a daily basis from February 7.
Since the Cauvery Management Board was not yet set up by the Centre to implement the tribunals final order, which apportioned the Cauvery water among the riparian states, the "entire matter is sub-judice before the apex court", he said.
"Any attempt to construct check dams without disclosing the details of schemes will affect the natural flow of the Bhavani river and consequently, diminish the flows to Tamil Nadu," the chief minister said.
"In these circumstances, I request you to kindly instruct the Ministry of Water Resources to advise Kerala to immediately stop the construction work of check dams across the Bhavani river," Panneerselvam wrote in the letter.
Kerala may also be advised not to take up any project or works without obtaining the prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and until the CMB and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee came into force and judicial references were finally settled, he added.
"I look forward to your immediate positive response in this matter," Pannerselvam wrote to the prime minister.