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PAP: Kerala, Tamil Nadu agree to resume talks

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INTER-STATE ISSUES: The meeting to review the PAP agreement in progress in Chennai on Friday.
INTER-STATE ISSUES: The meeting to review the PAP agreement in progress in Chennai on Friday.

Roy Mathew

Secretaries to draw up package for talks on review of pact

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tamil Nadu and Kerala have agreed to begin discussions on review of the Parambikulam Aliyar Project agreement at the Ministers’ level at the talks held between the Chief Secretaries of the two States in Chennai on Friday.

The meeting decided that the Secretaries in charge of Water Resources in the two States would draw up a package of proposals for consideration at the level of Ministers. The working paper thus prepared would be discussed at the level of the Ministers on an early date after the Lok Sabha elections.

Kerala Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran told The Hindu that a good mechanism could be worked out at the talks for continuing the parleys. “The results are positive and we are hopeful that we will have a review of the agreement,” he said.

He noted that rather than talking on broad terms, the talks had centred on specific issues. “The issues have become clear and we now have to find solutions,” the Minister said.

Kerala had offered that it was willing to concede diversion of 2.5 tmc of water from Anamalayar to PAP system provided that the State is allowed to generate electricity using the water before its release. A dam would have to be constructed in its territory for generating 100 MW. This was a positive gesture from Kerala’s part, and in return, Kerala wanted Tamil Nadu to agree to release of more water through the Manacadavu weir, Mr. Premachandran said.

Kerala had maintained that no new construction, including the proposed balancing reservoir, could be allowed in Kerala territory.

Kerala Chief Secretary K.J. Mathew said over phone that while differences persisted over some issues, understanding could be reached on certain other issues at the talks.

The package would be drawn on the basis of these, on a give and take basis.

Mr. Mathew said that the talks were the most fruitful among those held so far. The talks were cordial and two States could look forward to coming to an understanding on review of the agreement.

The meeting was part of a long drawn out process for review of the agreement which was pending since 1988.

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