State to ask for supply from the Siruvani dam to meet the drinking water needs of Coimbatore

The talks between Tamil Nadu and Kerala Ministers for water resources, scheduled to be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, are likely to focus on addressing drinking water supply requirements of the two States.

While Tamil Nadu is to urge Kerala to make arrangements for the supply of water from the Siruvani dam for meeting the requirements of Coimbatore city, the other side is to insist that water supply be given from the Aliyar dam to cater to the needs of Chittur in Palakkad district.

The proposed discussion between the two Ministers, K.V. Ramalingam and P.J. Joseph, is a sequel to the letter written by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa last month, seeking a meeting at the level of Chief Ministers.

Sources in the Water Resources Organisation say that the Kerala government has demanded the release of 100 cubic feet (cusecs) from Aliyar which will be given through the Manacadavu weir. While indicating that it may not be possible to release that much, the sources say the quantum is likely to be finalised at the Sunday meeting.

The sources also point out that despite experiencing nearly 50 per cent shortfall in rainfall over the Parambikulam-Aliyar group of dams during the current water year (July-June), Tamil Nadu released around five thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) from the Aliyar dam to Kerala against the requirement of 7.25 tmc ft, which, the sources say, can be met only in a normal year.As for Siruvani water for Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu expects that given the dead storage in the dam, it will be possible for Kerala to provide, on a sustained basis, 18 million litres a day of water at least for one month.

Even though the Siruvani source accounts for about 13 per cent of the present overall supply of drinking water of around 142 MLD to residents of the Coimbatore city, the authorities in charge of municipal water supply say that the assured supply of Siruvani water will ease pressure on them considerably.