Jaya seeks PM's help on Pennaiyar

Jaya seeks PM's help on Pennaiyar

Urges Ktaka not to build check dams on the river

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Sunday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to prevail upon Karnataka not to go ahead with its plan to build “check dams and diversion structures” across the Pennaiyar river, which originates in Karnataka but flows through Tamil Nadu.

Referring to Karnataka government’s proposal in this regard, Jayalalitha in a letter to Singh said, “it is causing great alarm and apprehension in Tamil Nadu.”

“Any attempt to withhold the flows by constructing check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar river, will be a serious breach of the Inter-State Agreement on this issue and will also be a body-blow to the farmers of Tamil Nadu, besides affecting the drinking water supply position,” she said in the letter, copy of which was released to the media.

Flowing through the districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, the Pennaiyar river is the lifeline of the people in those five districts, she said.

The Pennaiyar river is also mentioned as one of the rivers in ‘Schedule A’ of the ‘Madras-Mysore Agreement of 1892’, which forms the basis of the subsequent 1924 agreement on sharing of Cauvery waters.

According to that agreement, the ‘upstream state’ should not build any anicut or any structure to obstruct flows, or divert or store the waters of the Inter-State River across any part of the river without prior consent of the ‘downstream state (Tamil Nadu)’, Jayalalitha pointed out.

The Karnataka government in this instance had neither furnished any details of the new scheme to Tamil Nadu, nor sought the latter’s consent, she said and hence sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in this issue.

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