KERALA

Violation of PAP pact: farmers to move court

PALAKKAD, JUNE 1. The Parambikulam Aliyar Water Protection Committee, an organisation of farmers of the Chitturpuzha irrigation scheme, has said that they will approach the court against the violation of the inter-State Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) agreement and stoppage of water to them by Tamil Nadu.

Addressing a press conference here today, the committee chairman, Polpully Vasudevan, and the general convener, Muthalamthode Mani, said the State Government had failed to get the State's share of water from Tamil Nadu. They said the assurance given by the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, and the Finance Minister, K. Shankaranarayanan, to the farmers of Chittur was not implemented.

``This is a betrayal to the farmers of Chittur by the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister, who hails from this district. The understanding was reached at a meeting called by the Chief Minister in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of Leader of Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, and representatives of various farmers' organisations. But this was not implemented. The farmers will also seek legal remedy against this,'' they said. The committee leaders said the Chief Minister who had visited Chittur on April 24 had assured them that he had taken steps to get the PAP water for Chittur. But after that, nothing happened and the farmers were not able to start cultivation of first crop of paddy.

As per the PAP agreement, from May 15 water should have been released to Chitturpuzha till June 30 for the first crop of paddy cultivation. This was blatantly violated. This was the first time since the PAP agreement was signed in 1971 that water was not released for the first crop in May. This was mainly due to the insincere attitude on the part of the Water Resources Minister, T.M. Jacob, and the Department under him, they alleged.