Neyyar water: “Kerala sticking to its stand”

April 21, 2012 02:38 am | Updated 02:38 am IST - CHENNAI:

Tamil Nadu is repeatedly requesting the Centre to advise Kerala to conclude an agreement on sharing of the Neyyar river water and release it to the State, pending finalisation of the agreement, according to Public Works Minister K.V. Ramalingam.

Apprising the Assembly on Friday of various steps taken by the government for securing water for 9,200 acres of ayacut in Vilavancode taluk of the Kanyakumari district, the Minister said that the State had, using toposheets of the Union government, established that a portion of the catchment of the river (12.90 sq. km) lay in Tamil Nadu. However, Kerala was sticking to its stand that the Neyyar was not an inter-State river.

In May 2009, considering the welfare of the Vilavancode's farmers, the State government sent a revised draft agreement to Kerala, which, without giving comments on the pact, “unilaterally prepared” a fresh draft agreement and sent it in January 2010 to Tamil Nadu. The draft agreement was not accepted.

In May 2011, technical officers held discussions in Thiruvananthapuram. No consensus was reached on the vital clauses of the draft agreement, Mr. Ramalingam told the House.

To locate potential pockets within blocks, the government had decided to assess groundwater resources on the basis of micro watersheds, instead of blocks. The assessment, as on March 31, 2011, would be done by bifurcating the blocks into smaller units on the basis of revenue villages.

The present 386 blocks would be re-assessed as 1,150 assessment units, after incorporating the data of 1,552 micro water sheds besides those of hydrological and geological.

Concluding a debate on the demands for grants of his department, Mr. Ramalingam announced that the Kalingarayan canal would be renovated at a cost of Rs.50 crore. This would benefit 15,743 acres.

Shutters of the Upper Anicut on the Cauvery would be repaired at a cost of Rs.4.5 crore. A check dam, estimated to cost Rs.12.85 crore, would be built across the Vaigai in Manamadurai taluk of Sivaganga district.

A new building to accommodate the Cuddalore Collectorate would be constructed at a cost of Rs.25 crore. Another Rs.25-crore building would be raised for the Thanjavur Collectorate. A complex in Tirupur, housing Collectorate and various offices, would be built at a cost of Rs.79.65 crore, the Minister added.

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