Chennai, Oct 22 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Government could not prevent surplus waters of Mettur dam from going into the sea by storing them at various places till the 1924 Inter-state agreement with Karnataka expired, PWD Minister Duraimurugan told the State Assembly today.
The agreement would expire only after the Centre notifies in the gazette the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
''Till then the agreement will be in force,'' he said, replying to a special mention raised by PMK Floor Leader G K Mani, expressing concern over the large quantity of surplus waters from Mettur Dam going into the sea.
''Whenever there are rains in Cauvery catchment areas, surplus water goes to sea. We cannot do anything as the case is pending before the Tribunal. If we try to store them, Karnataka will object citing the inter-state agreement,'' he added.
''Only after the agreement expires, the surplus water can be used in drought prone areas. Till then the government is taking all steps to protect the interests of the state,'' Mr Duraimurugan said.
Earlier, raising the issue during Zero Hour, Mr Mani said Kerala had been opposing to raise the storage level of Mullaiperiyar Dam from 136 ft to 142 ft and the surplus water from Mettur dam was going into the sea.
Expressing concern over large-scale water being let out in the sea, he said about 145.59 tmcft of water from Mettur Dam went to the sea in 2005 and 6.12 tmcft in 2006. In 2007, when the dam achieved full storage level six times, about 67.15 tmcft of surplus water had gone into the sea.
Suggesting that these surplus water could be used judiciously to meet the water needs of the entire Salem District by storing them in lakes, Mr Mani wanted the government to take steps in this regard.