TN to press Centre to set up tribunal, Karnataka's dam will hit irrigation: Minister

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Chennai, Jul 3 (PTI) Irrigation for about 870 hectares in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district would be affected by Karnataka's new dam across river Markandeya, Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan said here on Saturday.

Tamil Nadu would hence continue to urge the union government to set up a tribunal and the issue would be resolved through the proposed body, he said.

Appropriate steps would be taken by Tamil Nadu government to uphold the rights of the state and protect the interests of farmers and people who depend on river Markandeya, the Minister said in a statement.

Referring to news reports in some dailies about Karnataka completing construction of a dam across Markandeya river, Durai Murugan said Tamil Nadu government had all along opposed this project of the neighbouring state and approached the Supreme Court in 2018.

Due to this dam, irrigation for 870 hectares in Krishnagiri taluk of Tamil Nadu would be affected, he said.

While Karnataka had said in 2019 that the 0.5 Thousand Million Cubic Feet capacity reservoir was almost completed, the apex court had in its judgment that year favoured setting up a tribunal to resolve the dispute.

The Tamil Nadu government had over the years prevailed upon the Central government to constitute it and even last month, the union government was requested by the state to set up the tribunal expeditously.

'Tamil Nadu government will continue to urge the Central government to quickly set up the tribunal. The dispute will be resolved through the tribunal,' he said.

Markandeya river is a tributary of Pennaiyar, that originates in Karnataka and enters Tamil Nadu in Krishnagiri district.

Karnataka had maintained that the dam near Yargol village in Bangarpet taluk in Kolar district was for drinking water pruposes and groundwater replenishment.

The TN government, farmers and parties have been opposing the dam as it would affect irrigation and drinking water needs of six districts including Krishnagiri. PTI VGN BN BALA VGN BN BALA

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