At high-level meeting on inter-State river water issues

A high-level meeting was convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Tuesday to evaluate the current status of inter-State river water issues.

The meeting decided that the State should stick to its demand for the construction of a new dam across the Mullaperiyar since various study reports had raised questions about the safety of the existing structure.

Addressing reporters soon after the meeting, Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph said that Tamil Nadu should extend its cooperation to the proposal for a new dam. The neighbouring State should do this in the larger interests of the people living downstream the dam in Kerala.

He reiterated that Kerala was not against supplying water to Tamil Nadu, but the dam would not survive an earthquake.

Study reports of the Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi and Roorkee could not be wished away.

All attempts would be made to solve the issue politically, he said.

PAP agreement

With regard to the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) agreement, Mr. Joseph said that efforts would continue to hold discussions on renewing the agreement with Tamil Nadu with the focus on Minister-level talks.

Neyyar waters

The meeting discussed issues related to the optimum use of the 6 tmcft of water available to Kerala in Attappady under the Cauvery accord.

Kerala received 30 tmcft of water under the Cauvery accord at various places.

Optimum use of the Cauvery waters will benefit cultivation in 5,000 hectares of land, he said.

Mr. Joseph said that further discussions with Tamil Nadu on sharing of waters of the Neyyar were not necessary as it was not an inter-State river.