SC REJECTS TN PLEA ON MARKANDEYA RIVER
Context: The Supreme Court dismissed a plea by Tamil Nadu to stop the construction of the mini dam across Markandeya River in Kolar district.
A bench has suggested that Tamil Nadu approach the Centre within four weeks with the plea to constitute an inter-state water dispute tribunal to address the issue.
- Karnataka is building a dam across Markandeya River near Yargol village in Kolar district to provide drinking water to Kolar, Malur and Bangarpet taluks and 40 other villages.
- Karnataka has obtained the required permission to build the dam store 500 million cubic meters of water at a cost of Rs 240 crores.
- Objecting to the project, Tamil Nadu claimed that since Markandeya River is tributary of Pennaiyar River, any construction of the dam by Karnataka would obstruct natural flows to the downstream.
- Since a large number of people in Tamil Nadu depend upon Pennaiyar river water for irrigation as well as drinking purpose, the livelihood of lakhs of farmers in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore districts would be affected with the construction of dam.
- Tamil Nadu also argued that constructing reservoirs in one of the tributaries of Pennaiyar was a violation of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act.
- Karnataka contended that the National Water Policy-2002 accords the highest priority to drinking water and Karnataka should be allowed to continue with the project.
- Ponnaiyar River is a river of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states.
- It rises as the Southern Pinakim on the eastern slope of Nandidrug Mountain, in the Chennakaseva Hills of eastern
- It then flows southward for 50 miles (80 km) through Karnataka to northwestern Tamil Nadu, where it turns southeastward and flows 200 miles (320 km) to enter the Bay of Bengal at Cuddalore.
- Major tributaries are the Chinnar, Markanda, Vaniar, and Pamban.