The official level 93 Joint Water Regulatory Board (JWRB) talks between Tamil Nadu and Kerala was smooth and the meeting ended with a decision on Tamil Nadu agreeing to release 1.25 tmcft of water from Parambikulam — Aliyar Project (PAP) for the irrigation needs of Kerala’s northern districts.

Kerala was represented by Lathika, Chief Engineer of Irrigation Department, Viswanathan Nair, Chief Engineer of Kerala State Electricity Board both from Thiruvananthapuram along with 30 engineers.

Tamil Nadu represented by K. Ranganathan, Chief Engineer, K. Tirupathi and S. Sivalingam, Assistant Executive Engineer of Water Resource Organisation (WRO) of Public Works Department besides 30 engineers.

The JWRB talks were convened to finalise the water release/supply pattern from Tamil Nadu to Kerala in the wake of the south west monsoon’s failure and absence of distress sharing formula between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the PAP accord.

As per the PAP agreement, Tamil Nadu was supposed to release 12.3 tmft of water from Sholayar and another 7.25 tmcft of water from Aliyar through Manacadavu weir for irrigation needs of Palakkad and Chittor districts in northern Kerala.

The release pattern will have to be between July 1 and June 30, considered the water year in the PAP. The water is expected to benefit the second crop in about 20,000 hectares in two districts of Kerala.

The meeting first discussed the failure of the south west monsoon (July, August and September) and the resultant grim situation faced by the farmers in both the States. Hence, it was agreed to “share the water as well as the distress caused by the monsoon failure.”

It may be recalled that a similar grim situation and distress was witnessed during the period 2002-03 and the same was repeating exactly after one decade.

Taking into account, the symptoms of northeast monsoon, the meeting first decided to arrive at an ad hoc water release/supply schedule.

It was mutually agreed for working out a schedule for the period October 15 to December 15. During this period, Tamil Nadu will release 1,250 mcft (1.25 tmcft) from Aliyar via Manacadavu weir.

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