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State may claim 2.5 tmcft share in Anamalaiyar

By T. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI, NOV. 5. Tamil Nadu is likely to claim a share of the Anamalaiyar to the tune of 2.5 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) in the inter-State talks to be held with Kerala here on Saturday.

This and a host of other issues are expected to be covered in the discussions between the two Chief Ministers, Jayalalithaa and Oommen Chandy.

Under the Parambikulam-Aliyar agreement, Tamil Nadu is entitled to 2.5 tmcft every year after Kerala completes the Idamalayar hydroelectric project. While Tamil Nadu says the project has been completed, Kerala is of the view that some components are yet to be over.

Formally signed in May 1970, the agreement actually took effect from November 1958 as it was then that an understanding was reached between the States. It has to be reviewed after every 30 years. The present review process has been on since 1988.

Nirar supply

Another issue is that while Kerala is for making permanent the present arrangement of Tamil Nadu supplying to it winter flows (October-January) of the Nirar, the latter wants the entire utilisation of the river without any restriction as the supply of the winter flows is only an interim arrangement and Kerala has completed the Idamalayar and Idukki projects. The winter flows account for 1.4 tmcft.

Talks crucial

The present round of talks is crucial for Kerala too as it wants a share of the Parambikulam river water. The hitch is that Kerala's entitlement arises only when Tamil Nadu realises 16.5 tmcft (including evaporation losses) annually. Tamil Nadu argues that it has not realised this quantity all these years and even now, finds it extremely difficult to meet the needs of an ayacut of 4.25 lakh acres. However, Kerala says the available water can be shared proportionately.

Besides, Kerala wants the neighbour to supply more water of Aliyar at the Manacadavu weir. At present, its share is 7.25 tmcft and what it wants 12 tmcft.

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