New Delhi: Criticizing the Andhra Pradesh Government for raising the height of a check dam across Palar at Perumpallam. The Tamil Nadu government moved to the Supreme Court on Monday.
The suit filed by its counsel B. Balaji, the Tamil Nadu government said that the unilateral action by AP, by increasing the height of the existing check dams and constructing new check dams across the Palar river and its tributaries in gross violation of the 1892 agreement, has seriously affected not only the irrigation interests, but also the drinking water supply in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu.
It also said that the reduction of flows in the river will exasperate, pollution problems affecting the inhabitants living along the banks of the river. It will further seriously cause damage to the drinking water supply systems depending on the Palar river.
Check dams are usually for a height of five to six feet, but the height of this dam has been raised by 12 feet. These check dams if allowed to start, will obstruct the natural flows due which the people depending on the water for drinking water supply and the livelihood of farmers in the Tamil Nadu is consequently affected.
The dam is being constructed at Kuppam in Andhra Pradesh bordering Tamil Nadu on the river Palar which orginates from Karnataka and flows to bay of Bengal through Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The state said that new canals are being formed to divert the excess water from the check dams to nearby irrigation tanks. The inhabitants of the districts lying within the Palar Basin of Plaintiff State have been utilising the waters of Palar River and its tributaries, both for their irrigation and drinking water requirements, from time immemorial and it is covered by an agreement in 1892.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had written a letter to her Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y S Rajashekara Reddy requesting him to stop construction of the dam as it would adversely affect the farmers in north Arcot district of Tamil Nadu and cause drinking water crisis. But the construction is continuing.
The TN government said that it is Centre’s duty to ensure that, none of the riparian states steal a march over the other by undertaking construction or execution of any works either small or big or raising the height of check dam or diversion structure relating to the use, control and distribution of waters of an Inter-State River.