KERALA

Two water projects to be taken up: Jacob

PALAKKAD, APRIL 24. The Water Resources Minister, T.M. Jacob, has said that the State Government will take up the now held-up Attappady Valley

Irrigation Project (AVIP) and the Kuriyarkutty-Karapara multipurpose project with certain modifications by bringing down the height of the dams to solve the water scarcity of Palakkad district.

Addressing a press conference at Mannarkkad, near here, today, the Minister said the AVIP project started two decades ago was in an abandoned state. The project was aimed at providing irrigation and drinking water in the tribal belt of Attappady Hills.

He said that the Kuriyarkutty-Karapara project was given sanction by the Central Environment Ministry but it was withdrawn by the former Union Environment Minister, T.R. Balu. Against this illegal withdrawal of clearance, the State Government has taken legal action.

The Minister said that the Kuriyarkutty-Karapara project is for both irrigation and power generation and its cost would be shared by the Irrigation Department and the Kerala State Electricity Board.

The Minister said that the State Government wanted to take firm steps against the violations of inter-State water agreements like the Parambikulam Aliyar Agreement (PAP) by Tamil Nadu. Because of "no unity among the political parties in the State in protecting its water'', the Government was unable to take a strong stand, Mr. Jacob said.

He said that the Government was willing to call a meeting of all political parties to reach a consensus to help the State Government take steps to correct the inter-State agreement like Mullaperiyar, PAP, Siruvani etc., that went against the interests of the State.

Mr. Jacob claimed that the recommendations of the Assembly Committee on the PAP and Mullaperiyar agreements and the supplementary memorandum submitted by the Kerala Government on the renewal of the PAP agreement are contained in the Technical Committee report prepared by the officials of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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