Special Correspondent

Calls for immediate release of water

Urges Centre to provide appropriate advice to Kerala

“No reply yet to Karunanidhi’s request”

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has sought the Centre’s intervention on the Neyyar river water issue.

An official release issued on Tuesday stated that the State Government urged the Union Government to provide appropriate advice to Kerala on the issue.

Giving an account of the issue, the release said 9,200 acres of land in Vilavancode taluk of Kanyakumari district was receiving water through the left bank canal of the Neyyar dam for irrigation till 2004. Since then, Kerala stopped supplying water.

[Vilavancode was part of the former princely State of Travancore-Cochin. Following the re-organisation of States in 1956, it became part of Tamil Nadu].

Tamil Nadu had been seeking Kerala’s consent to its draft agreement prepared in 1971 over the cost of maintenance of the irrigation project and the release of water to the State from the Neyyar dam. So far, Kerala had not given its approval.

Assembly resolution

Six months ago, Kerala informed Tamil Nadu that its Assembly had adopted a resolution that water from the Neyyar dam could be given to Tamil Nadu after levying charges, on the basis of which a draft agreement had been prepared.

After perusing Kerala’s communication and official records, it was determined that Neyyar was an inter-State river. So, all the basin States had a share over the river water.

On October 3, the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi wrote to his counterpart V.S. Achuthananandan that though the State had been seeking the release of water, Kerala had not heeded its demand.

Several issues over the supply of water from the Neyyar dam could be handled separately. But, as water was urgently required in the Kanyakumari district for farming, the release should be made immediately, the Chief Minister had stated.

“Till now, Kerala has not sent a reply to the request of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister,” the release said, adding that one more letter had been sent to Kerala.