State’s wait for resolution of Pennaiyar dispute continues

CHENNAI Tamil Nadu may have to wait for six more months for the resolution of its dispute with Karnataka over Pennaiyar river, with the Central government constituting a negotiation committee to go into various issues concerning the dispute.

The dispute is essentially over the Karnataka government’s plans to construct structures on the river and its tributaries which, according to Tamil Nadu, will adversely hit the livelihoods of lakhs of farmers in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore districts.

In mid-November last year, the Supreme Court dismissed the State’s suit for a permanent injunction on five of Karnataka’s projects — two to pump the river water for feeding about 160 tanks and for irrigation purposes; another pumping project to draw 284 million cubic feet (mcft) of water; the diversion of surplus water of the Varathur Tank to the Narsapur Tank in Kolar district; and the construction of a reservoir of 500 mcft across the Markandeyanadhi. The court asked Tamil Nadu to take up the matter of the formation of a tribunal with the Centre. On November 30, the State wrote to the Centre, seeking the formation of a tribunal under the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

As per a communication Tamil Nadu received a few days ago, the negotiation committee will have to report to the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti regarding the outcome of its deliberations within 6 months.


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