The Kerala government's plan to construct a dam across River Siruvani has created a fresh row between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, who are already fighting each other in court over the Mullaperiyar Dam.
The issue this time is Kerala's move to build a dam in its Palakkad district, across the river Siruvani that supplies drinking water to Coimbatore across the border. The river originates in Tamil Nadu on the western ghats and passes through Kerala's Pallakad district before flowing into Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district.
Tamil Nadu says the construction of a dam upstream would mean Coimbatore's water supply would be affected.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has written to the Prime Minister to advise Kerala to not proceed with the project. She says there is "apprehension that Coimbatore and its adjoining areas dependent on Siruvani for their drinking water needs, will be totally affected if Kerala is allowed to build the dam". This she adds is also in "violation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal".
Ms Jayalalithaa argues that the Tribunal has allocated only 2.87 TMC ft of water to Kerala for the Attapadi Irrigation Scheme" against Kerala's claim of 4.5 TMC ft of water. She says that the governments of Kerala and Karnataka and Tami Nadu have all asked the Supreme Court for clarification and till a verdict is reached, no plans to alter the current arrangement should be implemented
Kerala's Irrigation Minister P J Joseph says the project is crucial for the areas around Attapadi which receive scanty rain and where " tribals starve with no scope for agriculture". He says the dam "would provide drinking water for tribals, irrigate around 5000 acres and also help generate electricity".