Any new reservoir construction across the Kosasthalaiyar river will seriously impact the drinking water supply to Chennai, TN CM Stalin said in a letter to his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Jagan.

Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan with Tamil Nadu CM StalinFile Photo of Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan with Tamil Nadu CM Stalin
news River water dispute Sunday, August 14, 2022 - 11:58

The Tamil Nadu government has flagged its concern over the proposal of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to construct reservoirs across the Kosasthalaiyar river, saying it would affect Chennai's drinking water prospects. In a letter to his Andhra counterpart YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said "it is learnt" that the government of Andhra Pradesh has approved the construction of two reservoirs across the river, near Mukkalakandigai and Katharapalli villages in Chittoor district. "This step has caused great anguish among the people living in areas in and around Chennai, who depend on the river for drinking water and to a small extent for irrigation," he said. The letter was released to the media on Saturday, August 13. 

The Kosasthalaiyar river basin and the river are inter-state in nature. The river basin covers a total area of 3,727 sq km of which 877 sq km lies in Andhra Pradesh and the rest in Tamil Nadu. The Poondi reservoir in the state was constructed across the river, which is a vital source of drinking water supply to the Chennai Metropolitan Area.

"Any such construction of new reservoirs across the river, its tributaries or sub-tributaries will affect the inflows into Poondi reservoir. This will seriously affect the drinking water supply to Chennai city and the water supply in the upper reaches. In addition, it will also impact irrigation in that area, thereby affecting the livelihood of the farmers,” Stalin wrote. 

"Being an inter-state river, the upper riparian state cannot plan or give approval or construct any new structure across Kosasthalaiyar without the consent of the lower riparian state. Hence, it is disappointing that such a step has been taken, which will have a significant adverse impact on our State, especially on Chennai and its northern suburbs," Stalin told Jagan in the letter.

He 'strongly' urged the Andhra Chief Minister to instruct the authorities concerned not to go ahead with the above project and also not to take up any new ones in the Kosasthalaiyar river basin area in Andhra Pradesh. "Considering the sensitivity of the issue, I request your immediate personal intervention," Stalin added.

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