Controversy brews over Kerala's proposal to build dam over Siruvani river

The project was previously dropped following opposition from the Tamil Nadu Government.
 Controversy brews over Kerala's proposal to build dam over Siruvani river
Controversy brews over Kerala's proposal to build dam over Siruvani river
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The sparring between the Tamil Nadu and Kerala government has increased after the latter’s insistence to build a dam across the Siruvani river.

TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Modi asking him to immediately make the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) withdraw its recommendations for conducting an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the dam proposed by Kerala.

The DMK meanwhile has announced a protest meeting in Chennai on September 3. The protest to be lead by MK Stalin will be against the Kerala government's move and the TN government's 'failure' to take any action against this.

A resolution adopted at a meeting of District DMK office bearers, led by former minister Pongalur N Palanisamy, blamed Tamil Nadu government for its 'failure' to respond to letters sent by the Centre and Kerala Government over the issue.

The Siruvani, a sub-tributary of the Cauvery, is an inter-state river  and flows through districts including Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Palakkad in Kerala.
The dam project was first proposed in the 1970s. However, after strong opposition from the Tamil Nadu government, it was  dropped and not resurrected until after the final orders from the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s were received. 
Though Kerala had attempted to construct a dam in 2002, it was forced to shelve it due to large scale protests from farmers and public who alleged that building a dam would deprive them of drinking water and also cut water supply for irrigation for thousands of acres, in Tirupur, Erode and Coimbatore districts.
The Kerala government has argued for the project on the grounds that the area mostly depends on rain-fed agriculture, and the irrigation facilities available there are mostly of the lift-irrigation type.
MoEF approvals are necessary for the project, since two villages benefitting from the project come within zones declared as eco-sensitive areas by an MoEF notification in 2013.
Considering this, the environment ministry had cleared the project during its meeting on August 11 and 12.
Moreover, the then UPA government, in which DMK was an ally, did not grant environmental clearance for the construction.

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