It is a high time the government mounted pressure on Kerala in connection with the release of water from Neyyar dam to the left bank channel for the benefit of farmers in Vilavancode taluk of Kanyakumari district.

On the one hand the area of paddy cultivation had been dwindling day by day owing to conversion of paddy fields to housing plots or other business establishments in the eastern parts and on the other hand farmers could not undertake paddy cultivation owing to inadequate supply of water for irrigation in the western parts of the district.

Vilavancode MLA S. Vijayadharani told The Hindu that she had already written a letter to the secretary of Public Works Department, Chief Secretary and also sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister in order to draw the attention of the government in this long pending inter-State dam water issue

The Neyyar dam is the source of supply for the Kanyakumari branch channel and situated in Neyyattinkara taluk in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. The right side channel taking off from this dam irrigates the ayacuts in Kerala. The left channel from the dam irrigates ayacuts both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The ayacut originally proposed under the Kanyakumari branch channel is 9,200 acres of which only 3,370 acres have been developed. Rules and regulations for Neyyar Irrigation system were sent by the Government of Kerala in 1968.

However, the Tamil Nadu government considered entering into an agreement on this with Kerala and accordingly sent a draft agreement.

Ms, Vijayadharani said that, according to a reply received from the PWD secretary (Tamil Nadu), Sai Kumar, the State government was in the process of making correspondence with Ministry of Water Resources and Kerala government for concluding an agreement on Neyyar Irrigation Project for the release of water in the left channel.

According to the proposed agreement and also as per rules and regulations of Neyyar Irrigation system sent by Kerala, a normal supply of 152 cusecs per second was to be available at Kollencode head works.

This quantity included 2 cusecs per second for the ayacut in Kerala lying under Kanyakumari branch.

In bad years, supply should be effected between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the ratio of 1:3.

When the Estimates Committee visited the district, Ms.Vijayadharani brought the resolution to the notice of its members.

The committee had assured her to include the sanctioning of R s. 69 lakh in the budgetary provision to renovate the left bank channel.

She had already written a letter to Kerala Government about the plight of farmers of Vilavancode taluk.

To this, she got a positive reply from the Additional Chief Secretary (Kerala) Jeya Kumar. Hence by making use of the prevailing conducive atmosphere, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa should make use of her good offices with the her Kerala counterpart Omman Chandy on releasing water into the left bank channel , said Ms.Vijayadharani.