On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the neighbouring state of Kerala of attempting to violate the Final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
In his DO to the PM, OPS opined that such a grave act would seriously jeopardize the water-rights of the riparian state. This would -he said- subsequently have an adverse impact on the livelihood of TN farmers who were solely dependent on the waters of the Cauvery and its main tributaries Bhavani and Amaravathy.
What seems to have irked the TN Chief Minister is Kerala’s plans to construct a reservoir at Pattisserry across the Pambar River which is a tributary of Amravathy. This naturally would have a negative impact on the lives of those who depend on the waters of the Cauvery Basin to meet drinking water and irrigation needs, OPS wrote.
Referring to reports about how work has already begun to lay the foundation for a dam at the said site, OPS reiterated that in a scenario where a permanent structure is in place, the state’s riparian rights in its lower reaches would be ‘irretrievably compromised’.
He also sought to bring to the notice of the Prime Minister of how an Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by the TN government on 28 November 2014 before the Supreme Court.
The IA wanted Kerala to maintain status quo and not proceed with the execution of the project, till such time the Cauvery Management Board is not constituted or the concurrence of the TN government is not obtained. The Apex Court is yet to pronounce its decision in this regard.
While Kerala and Karnataka had filed Special Leave Petitions (SLP) before the Supreme Court against the Final Order of the Cauvery Water Tribunal, Tamil Nadu too had filed an SLP on certain aspects of the Final Order.
The SC has fixed hearings of these Civil Appeals for the 7th of February 2017, and the matter is currently sub-judice before the Court.
Conveying Tamil Nadu’s strong objection to Kerala commencing construction of the said dam, OPS requested Modi to instruct the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to ask Kerala to immediately stop work at the proposed site.