Staff Reporter

State may seek extension of water supply for second crop

Meet to decide on supply for current water year

Last year, Kerala got only 7.06 tmcft of water

PALAKKAD: Kerala officials in the Joint Water Regulatory Board meeting on the inter-State Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) to be held in Ootty on Friday will demand Tamil Nadu to accept its intent for water supply for the second crop of paddy to be extended till March owing to the delay in starting the cultivation in the Chittur irrigation project area.

The Board, which consists of the officials from the Water Resources Department and the Electricity Boards of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is meeting to finalise the water supplied in the last water year ended in June this year and to decide on the water to be supplied in the current water year ending in June next year.

Kerala team

The Kerala team will be led by P. Lathika, Chief Engineer, Water Resources Department, and the Tamil Nadu side by Panchanathan, Chief Engineer of Water Resources Organisation.

The Kerala officials said that in the last water year the State got only 7.06 tmcft of water as against the due share of 7.25 tmcft annual share and the 2.5 tmcft additional water due to the excess rain in the area during the last water year.

The officials said that in the current water year that began in June this year so far the State got 1.6 tmcft of water as per its intent for supply. But in this water year, due to the delay in starting the second crop, Tamil Nadu should extend the water supply up to March and also provide more water due to the extended period of cultivation.

Otherwise the second crop of cultivation will not be possible this time.

Delay in second crop

The second crop was delayed due to the delay in completing the first crop for want of rain and irrigation water.

So the effort of the Kerala officials will be to get an assurance from the Tamil Nadu side that they will take the water only after ensuring the supply of due share to Kerala since all the Parambikulam group of reservoirs are now full following the southwest monsoon. If there is normal rain in the coming northeast monsoon, there will not be any difficulty in giving the due annual share of 7.25 tmcft of water and also the 2.5 tmcft share of the excess water of the last water year, the Kerala officials said.

Singed in 1971, the PAP agreement is to share the waters of Bharathapuzha, Periyar and Chalakudypuzha between the two neighbouring States with retrospective effect from 1958.