'Karnataka river projects would hit Tamil Nadu'

Chennai, Sep 4 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advise Karnataka to desist from going ahead with any project in the Cauvery basin as it would affect Tamil Nadu's irrigation interests.

A letter to this effect from Jayalalithaa to Manmohan Singh dated Sep 3 was released to the media here Wednesday.

Referring to the advertisements issued recently by a Karnataka company, Jayalalithaa said: "Under the circumstances, I request you to intervene in the matter and advise the government of Karnataka and its Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited (CNNL) not to proceed with any projects in the Cauvery basin till the Cauvery Management Board is formed."

The Cauvery Neeravari Nigama, a Karnataka government undertaking, issued newspaper advertisements inviting expression of interest for restoration and rejuvenation of the Arkavathy river and for modernisation of the Hemavathy canals.

She said Karnataka may be instructed to advise the CNNL to withhold the invitation for expression of interest called by it for two projects.

Jayalalithaa said the rejuvenation of the Arkavathy river and remodelling of the Hemavathy canals are new schemes not contemplated in the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

"The scope of the projects is also not known," the chief minister said.

She said it was "apprehended" that the remodelling of the Hemavathy project "will result in increased drawal of water by Karnataka" and expansion of their ayacut (area served by an irrigation project) to more than what has been allocated by the tribunal will affect the natural flow of the river and consequently severely hit the irrigation interests of Tamil Nadu.

"These schemes proposed by the government of Karnataka are against the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal," Jayalalithaa said.

Jayalalithaa requested the prime minister to immediately form the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.

--IANS (Posted on 04-09-2013)

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