Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty has refuted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s claim in the Assembly that the Tamil Nadu government has not responded favourably to Kerala’s demand to source more water from the Parambikulam Dam for drinking and irrigation purposes.
According to Krishnankutty, the neighbouring state is providing more water to Kerala than the quantity mentioned in the pact
“As per the agreement between the two states, Kerala should get 150 cusecs of water this February. Following tremendous pressure from the Kerala government and repeated requests, we received 290 cusecs of water on Friday. So, it is not that we don’t get water as per the pact. At the same time, we are advocating very strongly for more water from Tamil Nadu,” Krishnankutty said at a press conference in Palakkad on Saturday.
Farmers in Chittur have been alleging that Tamil Nadu was not releasing water as per the agreement. But Krishnankutty brushed that aside by claiming there was a storage deficit of 40% in the Parambikulam Dam compared to last year. “Lack of rain in the Chittur area last year and lack of modern farming practices has affected a lot,” Krishnankutty said.
The issue of shortage of water for drinking and irrigation purposes was raised in the Assembly by K Babu, MLA from Nemmara constituency. Babu in his submission said that as per the Parambikulam-Aliyar pact, which is due for renewal, only 3.54 TMC water out of 7.25 TMC has been released by Tamil Nadu in the Water Year that started on October 1.
In Chittur alone there are 19,322 farmers, cultivating paddy on 23,475 hectares, who depend on the Parambikulam-Aliyar project for irrigation. Besides, the drinking water projects in Moolathara, Chittur River, Bharathapuzha and Meenkara depend on water from Parambikulam-Aliyar, the MLA said in his submission.