Former Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran has accused the State government of falling into the trap set by the Tamil Nadu government in the talks held on the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project and said that the agreement made for getting 0.268 tmcft of water till May will weaken the case filed by the State in the Supreme Court for due share of water.
Mr. Premachandran told reporters here on Monday evening that the State government participated in the talks without adequate preparations and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy should look into the entire gamut of issues that had been raised in connection with the talks held on Sunday, and also the manner in which the inter-State water dispute issues were being handled. The decisions made at the latest round of talks were against the interests of the State and had also set an unhealthy precedent.
As per the base agreement, during a monsoon year from July 1 to June 30, Tamil Nadu should provide 7.25 tmcft of water through Manakkadavu weir and 12.3 tmcft of water through Sholayar basin to the State. Being a lower riparian State, this was the right of Kerala. The State government had filed a case in the Supreme Court to get this share of water.
Though Mr. Chandy approached Tamil Nadu for talks, it did not respond and now they had taken the initiative on realising that they would be in defensive if Kerala proceeded with the case. The agreement made for securing 0.268 tmcft of water would weaken the case. When the State was bound to get 2.207 tmcft of water through Chittoor river and 3.68 TMC water through Sholayar basin and thus a total of 5.887 tmcft of water, the agreement struck with Tamil Nadu lacked logic. Owing to the shortfall in Sholayar basin, the State lost 108 million units of power.
While there was 4 tmcft of dead storage and 1.347 tmcft of live storage in the Parambikulam group of dams, Tamil Nadu was not ready to give the due share to Kerala, and now the government had permitted Tamil Nadu to pump 0.107 tmcft of water from the 0.2 tmcft of dead storage in Shiruvani reservoir. The laxity of the State government in tackling such issues had become evident. In this context, Mr. Chandy should probe all related issues.