In a historic gesture, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have decided to review the Parambikulam-Aliyar water sharing agreement, 60 years after the agreement was made. The decision was taken in a meeting between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
Addressing the media jointly after the meeting, both the Chief Ministers said that they had decided to review the water sharing agreement, which came into existence 60 years ago.
â€śA 10-member committee will be formed compromising of five members each from both the states. Members of the committee and the venue of the meeting date will be decided in a week. The committee will decide further course of action and will finalise the decision. The Chief Secretaries of both the states will convene meetings and review the progress once in six monthsâ€ť Pinarayi Vijayan said. He also added that his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi Palaniswami had initiated the move and thanked him for that.
â€śIt has been two decades since a meeting on the discussion has been held. We have discussed the issue in detail. Any issues should be resolved through discussions,â€ť Pinarayi Vijayan said.
â€śKerala and Tamil Nadu see themselves as brothers and any problems should be solved through discussion,â€ť Edappadi Palaniswami said. The Tamil Nadu minister for Rural Administration, SP Velumani, was also in attendance at Wednesday's meeting.
The Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) is a symbol of co-operation between two neighbouring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in diverting the surplus water of the former to irrigate the dry lands of the latter.
The agreement successfully accomplishes the diversion and integration of eight west-flowing rivers, six in the Anamalai hills - Anamalaiyar, Sholayar, Thunacadavu, Nirar, Peruvaripallam and Parambikulam - and two in the plains - Aliyar and Palar - for the benefit of the drought-prone areas in the Coimbatore and Erode districts of Tamil Nadu.
When all the components of diversion and storage works contemplated in the agreement are completed, 30.5 TMC of water will be diverted to Tamil Nadu from Kerala annually. With disagreements between the two states on the deal in the past, this meeting aims to iron out differences.