Political parties, farmers, traders to observe fast on July 17

Members of various political parties, farmers associations, trading community and various other organisations in the district have decided to observe a token fast in Erode on July 17 to protest against the Kerala Government's move to construct a dam across the Siruvani River in Attapadi. The decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association (TFA) District President E.R. Kumarasamy here on Sunday.

To utilise water awarded by Kaveri Tribunal

Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph said the State would expedite steps to draw its share of water under the Kaveri Tribunal Award from the east-flowing rivers Pampar, Bhavani and Kabini. Replying to the discussion on the demands for Budget grants for his department, the Minister said the tribunal had awarded 3 tmc of water from Pampar, 6.07 tmc of water from Bhavani and 21 tmc of water from Kabani. The State was yet to take the benefit of the award.

An emergency meeting of leading political parties convened by Communist Party of India (CPI) in Tirupur on Wednesday has resolved to conduct agitation in protest against the proposed move by Kerala government to construct dams across various inter-state rivers that bring water to Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu would approach the Supreme Court and will not be a 'silent spectator' if Kerala Government went ahead with its plan to build a dam across the Siruvani river, Public Works Minister K V Ramalingam has said.

"Tamil Nadu will not give up its rights with regard to Siruvani and Mullaperiyar," he told reporters here yesterday. He said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had written to the Prime Minister asking him to advise Kerala not to proceed with the irrigation scheme or any other project on the Siruvani at in violation of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's final order.

More parties and organisations extend support

With more than 31 organisations coming together, the stage seems to be set for a human chain agitation at Gandhipuram in Coimbatore on Monday to protest Kerala’s decision to construct a dam of 450m length at Chittur – Venkadal in Attappady across River Siruvani, a source of water for the Bhavani. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko, on Sunday, had already launched a campaign sensitising the people on the effects that Kerala’s proposed dam and power house project at Pambaru would cause to the Amaravathy basin.

Work on dam across Siruvani river was stopped in 1989

Kerala proposed to revive work on a dam across the Siruvani river in Palakkad district to draw the water the State was eligible to take from the Bhavani basin under the Kaveri Tribunal award, Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph told the Assembly on Thursday. He stated this in reply to a submission from Congress MLA Ramesh Chennithala. He said a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister recently took the decision to build the dam across the Siruvani river for the Attappady Irrigation Scheme, which was conceived way back in the 1970s.

Taking strong exception to Kerala government's plan to construct a dam across Siruvani River at Attapadi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Thursday asked the Centre not to accord it technical clearance as it 'violates' the final order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she asked him to advise Kerala not to proceed with the proposed Attapadi irrigation scheme or any other scheme on the river Siruvani in violation of the Tribunal's final order.

Says it is trying to create disharmony between two States

Members of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam staged a protest in the city and Mettupalayam against the Kerala's move to build a dam across Siruvani. The party's urban district secretary, R.R. Mohankumar, led the protests in the city, while his rural counterpart V. Eswaran in Mettupalayam.

Officials sources clarified here on Friday that Kerala's expression of willingness for joint control of the proposed new dam on the Mullaperiyar was about water regulation only.

The proposal placed before the Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court earlier was that the ownership, control and maintenance of the new dam would vest with Kerala. A joint water regulatory board could be in charge of water regulation.

Kerala favours independent panel for water regulation, Tamil Nadu is against new dam itself

Kerala has maintained that it is agreeable to the constitution of an independent committee, with representatives of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union of India, for regulation of the waters of a new Mullaperiyar dam.