CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to submit a report on a petition seeking to restrain the diversion of water course of Gomukhi river and other streams in the tribal areas of Kalrayan hills located in Salem and Villupuram districts.
When the petition from Tamil Nadu Scheduled Tribes (Malayali) Peravai represented by its President T Varatharaju came up yesterday, the First bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose directed the authorities including the Secretary of PWD to file a report by way of counter affidavit on the matter.
The bench then posted the matter for hearing to March 5.
The petitioner submitted that Gomukhi river originates on the western side of Kalrayan hills which is a conglomeration of various other streams and one such flows through the 'Kaikan Valavu' village in Salem district.
It caters to the agriculture and drinking needs of more than 35 villages down the line from originating point at Chinna Kalrayan hills and flows to reach Gomukhi reservoir.
This reservoir is the only source of water which is used for drinking, agriculture and irrigation purposes and the stream caters to more than 265 villages in Salem and Villupuram districts.
Any diversion of water would affect the livelihood of those depending on it, the petitioner said.
He further claimed that the diversion of water course is opposed to public policy and tribal policy and it would reduce the flow of water.
The petitioner submitted that already representations were sent to the Salem Collector to take steps to protect the interest of 265 villages in two districts.
He sought a court direction to restrain the authorities from altering the water course of Gomukhi.