Tamil Nadu - Kerala to hold key meet ahead of impending water crisis

Tamil Nadu-Kerala water-sharing battles heat up again Key meet on Jan 28
news Water sharing Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 10:09

With the possibility of a water crisis looming over both states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments are set to hold talks in Thiruvanathapuram on January 28, reports Times of India. Tamil Nadu reportedly wants to utilise water from the Siruvani dam, which has the 'dead storage' to meet the requirements of Coimbatore, while Kerala wants water for Palakkad and Thrissur districts under the Parambikulam Aliyar project.

Senior bureaucrats in charge of irrigation, municipal administration and energy from both states will participate in the meet.

This meeting comes soon after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam lodged a strong objection to the construction of check dams by Kerala across the river Bhavani. The Chief Minister had on Tuesday urged the Prime Minister to instruct the Union Ministry of Water Resources to advise Kerala to stop the any construction forthwith.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, O Paneerselvam said, “Kerala Government may be advised not to take up any projects or works without obtaining the prior concurrence of the Tamil Nadu Government until the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery water regulation committee come into full force and judicial references are finally settled.”

Water supply from the Siruvani reservoir and the Aliyar dam are likely to come up for discussion during the meeting on Saturday. Drinking water supply schemes in both states have taken a hit due to the failure of the southwest and northeast monsoons in both states.

The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage board (TWAD) supplied only 80% of its designed quantum on January 5. The Siruvani dam reportedly hit dead storage after the first week of January. The TWAD, according to TNIE, hopes that the Kerala Government will accede to their request of pumping out water like they had done in 2013. This would reportedly help maintain supply to Coimbatore till summer.

The Kerala Government meanwhile, has repeatedly requested Tamil Nadu to increase its quantum of supply from Aliyar dam under the interstate Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP). The supply could help meet the water requirements of the Palakkad district. “It is a legitimate quantity which Kerala has to get from Aliyar dam and the state is pressing for that,” PAP Joint Water Regulatory Board, joint director, Sudheer Padikkal told TOI. Tamil Nadu currently releases 100 cusecs of water a day through the Manakkadavu weir but Kerala is now demanding 200 cusecs a day.

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