Kerala on Friday agreed to execute works for supply of 2.5 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) of water from Anamalayar to Tamil Nadu under the Parambikulam Aliyar Project agreement.

Kerala had established the technical feasibility of the proposal and it would be executed after Tamil Nadu verified the feasibility report. An understanding to this effect was reached at the inter-State meeting between the Chief Secretaries of the two States held here to review the agreement.

Tamil Nadu agreed to come up with a proposal within three months for monthly release of water from the Tamil Nadu Sholayar reservoir based on a study of flow pattern, while it rejected Kerala's demand for a share in excess flow into Kerala Sholayar. (While Kerala claimed that there was excess flow into Kerala Sholayar, Tamil Nadu maintained that the basin was facing shortage.) Kerala would examine the study on flow into Tamil Nadu Sholayar and respond within three months.

Chief Secretary of Kerala P. Prabhakaran and Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu S. Malathi told a press conference after the meeting that the outcome was positive for both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. While Mr. Prabhakaran noted that both States had agreed to carry forward on the two issues, Ms. Malathi said the steps being taken now would benefit both the States. Further discussions between the two States would be taken up at the Ministers' level.

Diversion of 2.5 tmc ft from Anamalayar to Tamil Nadu was originally provided for in the agreement. However, Kerala was not providing that on the ground that irrigation works under the Edamalayar project to tap the Periyar waters was not complete. Now Kerala would furnish the feasibility report to Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu would give its views within two months. There was practically no agreement on other four issues discussed at the meeting.

Kerala wanted Tamil Nadu to continue the release of water from Upper Nirar from October 1 to January 31 while Tamil Nadu insisted on stopping the diversion citing that Kerala's Idukki and Edamalayar projects had been completed. After technical feasibility of Anamalayar is examined, it was decided to re-visit the issue.

While Kerala demanded the enhancement of entitlement at Manacadavu weir to 12 tmc ft, Tamil Nadu maintained that it would consider moderately increasing the entitlement if a balancing reservoir is permitted above Manacadavu. However, Kerala was not ready to accept any proposal for construction of a new reservoir.

The Kerala side demanded the lowering of the threshold for release of waters of the Parambikulam reservoir from 16 tmc ft to 12.5 tmc ft. However, both sides could not agree on the details. Though Tamil Nadu pressed for its proposal for Nirar Nallar Straight Cut, Kerala declined noting that it was outside the purview of the agreement. However, the two sides agreed that Tamil Nadu could come up with specific proposals, clearly indicating possible benefits to Kerala, for Kerala's consideration.

Additional Chief Secretary (Inter-State Waters) K. Jayakumar noted that it was the 19th meeting in 22 years to consider the review of the agreement. So, today's outcome should be treated as progress. Secretary (Public Works) K. Dhanavel was also present at the press conference.

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