Chennai, Feb 12 : The Tamil Nadu government would take all legal steps to uphold its rights on the Palar river issue with Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami told the State Assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to a Special Call Attention Motion given notice of by the Opposition parties, including the DMK, on the Andhra Pradesh government's move to raise 30 new check dams across Palar river, Mr Palaniswami said no dams could be constructed by the neighbouring state without the prior consent of the Tamil Nadu government.
Stating that legal steps were being taken to uphold the rights of Tamil Nadu on the issue, the Chief Minister said a case has been filed in the Supreme Court to prevent Andhra Pradesh from constructing new check dams or carrying out maintenance of the existing dams.
He also said the Tamil Nadu government has written several letter to the Centre on the issue. The proposal for constructing new check dams came to light when a team of officials of Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department's Upper Palar Division visited their counterparts in Chittoor district recently to ascertain the facts.
In its earlier plea filed last year, the Tamil Nadu government cited a 124-year-old agreement between the erstwhile States of Madras and Mysore on the sharing of Palar water and sought a permanent injunction against the newly bifurcated Andhra Pradesh from building new check dams and diversion structures meant to draw precious drinking water away from the parched areas of Tamil Nadu.
The river, which originates in the Nandh Durg Hills of Kolar district in Karnataka, flows through Vellore and Kancheepuram districts of Tamil Nadu before falling into the Bay of Bengal. Before reaching Tamil Nadu, the river flows for 33 km in Andhra Pradesh.
Though the three riparian States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh (before bifurcation) and Tamil Nadu were in compliance of the 1892 water-sharing pact, things started turning sour for Tamil Nadu when Andhra Pradesh started increasing the height of the check dams.
The Tamil Nadu government, in its plea, sought both permanent and mandatory injunction against increase in the height of the check dams and said new check dams should be constructed only after taking the prior consent of Tamil Nadu. The State wants the apex court to intervene against any steps taken by Andhra for additional water storage, besides a direction to the Union Water Resources Ministry to intervene on the issue. (UNI)