Chennai | Tamil Nadu government today expressed concern over Kerala’s reported move to construct a dam across the Pambar river and sought Centre’s intervention, saying the issue came under the Cauvery dispute ambit.
Drawing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention towards reports about Kerala’s plan to construct a dam with a storage capacity of about 2 tmc ft across the river at Pattisserry there, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam insisted that 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 Amaravathy river will be totally 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.
He said his predecessor and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s repeated demands with Centre on constituting Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and 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 viz., the Cauvery Management Board, it will not be possible to monitor the execution of new projects by the party states, he said.
Engineers from Tamil Nadu Public Works Department had visited the site on Friday and have informed that 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 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 consent of the Tamil Nadu government obtained.