Andhra Pradesh bid to construct check dam on Palar river draws criticism

Check dam across Palar river
Check dam across Palar river (Photo | By special arrangement)

TIRUPATTUR: With Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announcing allocation of Rs 215 crore funds for constructing a check dam in Palar river at Shanthipuram in Kuppam constituency, activists in Tamil Nadu have claimed the proposed construction is against the inter-state river water sharing agreement outlined in Schedule A of the Madras-Mysore Agreement of 1892 and urged the Tamil Nadu government to take steps to stop the construction.

Palar river activist and a member of the Rivers of Ecology Committee, Ashokan, said as per the Madras-Mysore Agreement, 1892, Clause II of Schedule A, the upstream state should not build any ayacut or any structure to obstruct, divert, or store the waters of the river across any part of the 15 main rivers named in Schedule A appended to the agreement without the previous consent of the downstream state, and in this matter, it is Palar in Tamil Nadu.

“The 23rd check dam in AP will have significant implications for the downstream state of Tamil Nadu. This is an indication of the continuous violation of the AP government with the inter-state Palar River sharing agreement, and the Tamil Nadu government should not be watching this happen,” Ashokan said.

Farmers in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu heavily rely on the Palar river for irrigation as the river is the primary source of water for around 4.5 lakh hectres of agricultural land in the state. The construction of 22 check dams in Andhra Pradesh has significantly reduced the flow of the river into the state, with the farmers in the region experiencing significant water crisis.

Shanmuga Sundaram, a 47-year-old farmer from Amballur in Vaniyambadi expressed concern stating despite continuous requests, TN government has not initiated steps for the construction of dykes or bed dams along the river to increase the groundwater level. PMK leader S Ramadoss in a statement expressed shock over the Andhra Minister’s claim that the issue concerning the Tamil Nadu government and Andhra Pradesh’s check dam case has been resolved. He condemned the state for neglecting Tamil Nadu’s rights in the issue. MDMK leader Vaiko said, despite SC orders, Karnataka has erected three barrages, and AP has built 21 small and one large barrage across the Palar.

Executive Engineer of WRD, Vellore told TNIE the department is in the process of obtaining information regarding the new construction in Palar.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express