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Tamil Nadu `not to release' water from PAP

By G. Prabhakaran

PALAKKAD DEC. 2. The decision of the Tamil Nadu Government to stop water release from the inter-State Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) for the second crop in Chittur taluk will result in the destruction of the entire crop in 16,000 hectares bringing in an estimated loss of Rs.50 crores.

The second crop is mid-way and if water is not released by the end of January, the crops cannot be saved, the farmers said.

The Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu in a letter (on November 27, 2003) to the Executive Engineer of the Chitturpuzha Irrigation Scheme said it was not possible to release water from the last fortnight of December to due to shortage of water in the PAP reservoirs.

As per the PAP agreement, Kerala should get 7.25 tmc of water every year but in the current year, which began from June last the State got only 1.8 tmc of water.

Then there is also a backlog of one tmc from the previous water year. Thus Kerala should get more than 6 tmc of water in the current water year, Water Department officials here said.

The letter of the Executive Engineer of the Irrigation Division, Chittur to the Chief Engineer, Inter-StateWater, Thiruvananthapuram and Chief Engineer, Project, Kozhikkode further states ``there was a meeting of the project advisory committee on November 26, 2003, where the farmers and people's representatives demanded water up to February 2, 2004 to save the second crop. At present, as per the water distribution regulation issued by a Government order of 1987, we are committed to supply water up to January 31 for a second paddy crop every year.''

The letter said that to save the standing crop of Chitturpuzha, Kerala requires at least 3,300 mcft of water. The balance quantity of water due from Tamil Nadu can be used for drinking water requirement in the summer and for the first crop of the next season.

The letter said that ``Tamil Nadu has not supplied even 30 per cent of our eligible quantity of this year's water. This is a very severe offence of Tamil Nadu.''

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