“I wish to bring to your urgent notice an important issue relating to the proposals of the Government of Karnataka to build check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River which originates in Karnataka but flows through Tamil Nadu.
The Pennaiyar River flows through the Districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and is the lifeline of the people living in these Districts. The river irrigates an ayacut of nearly 4 lakh acres.
I understand that the Government of Karnataka has proposed to construct check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River which is causing great alarm and apprehension in Tamil Nadu. 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. This will also be a body blow to the farmers of Tamil Nadu besides affecting the basic drinking water supply position.
As you are aware, the Pennaiyar is an Inter-State River and is also one of the Rivers mentioned in Schedule ‘A’ annexed to the Madras-Mysore Agreement of 1892. As per clause-II of this Agreement, the upstream State should not, without the previous consent of the downstream Tamil Nadu State, build any new anicut or any structure to obstruct, divert or store the waters of the river across any part of the river. The Government of Karnataka has neither sought the consent of the Government of Tamil Nadu nor have they furnished any information to the Government of Tamil Nadu, despite the Government of Tamil Nadu taking up the matter with the Government of Karnataka to furnish the details of the schemes and also urging them not to commence any work without the consent of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
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 etc., across the Pennaiyar River.