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Another dam row between Kerala and Tamil Nadu

June 21, 2012 14:38 IST
Taking strong exception to the Kerala government's plan to construct a dam across the Siruvani river at Attapadi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday asked the Centre not to accord it technical clearance as it "violates" the final order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she asked him to advise Kerala not to proceed with the proposed Attapadi irrigation scheme or any other scheme on the river Siruvani in violation of the tribunal's final order.

She said Kerala's proposal to build a dam of 4.5 tmc ft capacity has caused concern among people of Tamil Nadu as the inflows into Bhavani river would be considerably reduced.

"There is wide apprehension among the people that the entire city of Coimbatore and its adjoining areas, dependent on Siruvani for their drinking water needs, will be totally affected if Kerala is allowed to build the dam," she said.

Kerala and Karnataka have appealed in the Supreme Court against the final order of the tribunal. Tamil Nadu has also approached the apex court on certain aspects of the order, she said.

The chief minister said it was only proper for the states to await either the notification or the final order or the judicial decisions before initiating any new scheme in the Cauvery basin or in its sub-basins.

Jayalalithaa also requested the prime minister to advise the Central Water Commission not to accord technical clearance for Kerala's proposal.

Tamil Nadu and Kerala are already locked in a bitter row over the Mullaperiyar dam issue. Kerala is insisting on building a new dam in place of the existing 116-year-old structure, which Tamil Nadu is opposed to.

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key United Progressive Alliance constituent, slammed Kerala for its "bad mischief" and sought the Centre's intervention to arrive at a solution.

"For how long can we allow this bad mischief by Kerala regarding river water issues with Tamil Nadu? The central government should intervene to arrive at a good solution," he told reporters in Chennai.

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