Karnataka-TN water dispute: A Ramadoss seeks action over Markandeya River dam

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss urged the Centre to take action against the Karnataka government for building a dam across the Markandeya River. A stir among the Tamil Nadu polity is brewing in this matter as many leaders have expressed the same demand, a Tamil language newspaper reported on Sunday.

The former Union minister said in a statement that it is shocking to learn that Karnataka has constructed the dam across the Markandeya, the tributary of the Thenpennai which is the source of irrigation for five districts of Tamil Nadu, according to the Dina Thanthi. Karnataka has arbitrarily constructed the structure even when the dispute over the Thenpennai river is pending with the tribunal, he pointed out.

Among its tributaries, the Markandeya River is the major water source of Thenpennai which originates in Karnataka but empties in the Bay of Bengal traversing through Tamil Nadu.

Ramadoss said that though it originates in Karnataka, the distance the river traverses in that state is only 30 kilometres. The 165 feet tall dam constructed in the tributary will store up to 2 TMC water, he quoted experts. So, it is doubtful if the water from the tributary will ever reach the Thenpennai and thousands of hectares of agriculture in districts namely Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore will be affected, he said.


Anbumani also pointed out that the riparian rights of the Thenpennai River are under the agreement entered between the then Madras Presidency and the State of Mysore in 1892. Karnataka should get the approval of Tamil Nadu, the tail end-user of the river, before executing any major project over it. The arbitrary act of Karnataka constructing the river without Tamil Nadu’s approval is contempt of the tribunal, Anbumani contended. He urged the Tamil Nadu government to take up the issue with the Centre and demand action against Karnataka.

In another article published in the Dina Thanthi on Sunday, the Communist Party of India’s state secretary Mutharasan also reiterated that Tamil Nadu should take up a legal battle against the Karnataka government for constructing the dam across the Markandeya river. Meanwhile, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s general secretary Vaiko has slammed the previous AIADMK government’s lackadaisical approach towards the issue which paved way for the construction of the dam.

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