Jaya raises another issue, seeks PM intervention

Chennai: Taking on Karnataka over yet another river issue, Tamil Nadu chief Minister Jayalalithaa today accused the state of planning to build check dams across Pennaiyar River and sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advise it against going ahead with the work.

A day after raising the Cauvery water sharing issue and seeking his intervention, Jayalalithaa shot off another letter to the Prime Minister stating that Karnataka`s proposal to construct check dams and diversion structures across Pennaiyar was "causing great alarm and apprehension in Tamil Nadu".

Noting that the river, flowing through Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore, was the "lifeline" of the people in these districts, she said it irrigates an ayacut of nearly 4 lakh acres.

"Any attempt to withhold the flows by constructing check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River will be a serious breach of the existing Inter-State Agreement on this issue," she said.

"This will also be a body blow to the farmers of Tamil Nadu besides affecting the basic drinking water supply position", Jayalalithaa said.

She accused Karnataka Government of neither seeking the consent of Tamil Nadu nor furnishing any information about the details of the scheme as sought by the state. Tamil Nadu had urged Karnataka not to commence any work without its consent.

"I, therefore, request you to kindly intervene in this matter urgently and advise the Government of Karnataka to stop forthwith the execution of any check dams or diversion structures, across the Pennaiyar River", Jayalalithaa said.

In her earlier letter to Singh, Jayalalithaa had charged Karnataka with "unjustly utilising" Cauvery water and asked him to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority to discuss the issue.

However, Karnataka has rejected her charge and opposed the demand for CRA meet, saying the state was ensuring release of water in excess of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal`s order.