November 2, 2016
Central government stops Kerala from carrying out environmental impact assessment for its project of a dam over Siruvani river
Chennai: On the river waters issue, Tamil Nadu scored a victory over Kerala after central government stopped it from carrying out its proposed dam over Siruvani river. The centre has asked Kerala and Karnataka not to engage in building any dams over Cauvery and Siruvani till the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee came into force and all the judicial references are finally settled.
Tamil Nadu government said in a press statement on Wednesday that central government has decided to keep in abeyance the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee to conduct environmental impact assessment for the dam.
The Tamil Nadu government said that the union minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change decided to keep the recommendations by Expert Appraisal Committee, in abeyance, till the references filed in Hon’ble Supreme Court against the Order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal are settled. Or if the Tamil Nadu government accepted the project, the release said.
Incidentally, Tamil Nadu had plied on the pressure through an unanimous resolution of the state assembly urging the central government not to accept recommendations for conducting environmental impact assessment for a dam across Siruvani river in Kerala.
Siruvani river water fulfils the needs of Coimbatore and surrounding regions and any dam over it would lead to severe drinking water problems for the Coimbatore and its neighboring regions.
In the Tamil Nadu assembly in September, a resolution on Srivani river dam was moved by chief minister J Jayalalithaa and was passed unanimously.
In the resolution, Jayalalthaa said Siruvani river was a sub-tributary of the Cauvery river which is an inter-state river. The Cauvery Tribunal has taken the water available to Kerala from Siruvani river and has arrived at the formula for sharing of waters between various states.
The central government has not told the Tamil Nadu government about the Kerala proposal on the dam, which if allowed would be against the tenets of justice and fair play.
Today’s central government move on Kerala is a victory for Jayalalithaa and her AIADMK government on the emotional issue of Cauvery water that is agitating the minds of the farming community across the state.