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Tamil Nadu CM Welcomes Kerala's One-time Offer to Provide Water, But Says Daily Supply Will Help More

Chief Minister K Palaniswami chaired a meeting of top officials and ministers to review the steps taken for proper drinking water distribution in view of the scarcity situation in the state.


Updated:June 21, 2019, 6:55 PM IST
Tamil Nadu CM Welcomes Kerala's One-time Offer to Provide Water, But Says Daily Supply Will Help More
People stand in queues to fill vessels filled with drinking water from a water tanker in Chennai. (Image: AP)

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Friday urged his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan to extend cooperation to store water to the full level in the Mullaperiyar dam as the state was reeling under a severe water shortage.

Welcoming Kerala's gesture to supply water to Tamil Nadu, the chief minister said the neighbouring state had only offered two MLD (Million Litres per Day) for a day, whereas everyday supply would help.

"I thank the Kerala Chief Minister, but 2 MLD water will not be sufficient. We are everyday supplying 525 MLD water (in Chennai) and if 2 MLD water could be given everyday, it will be useful for the people," he said, addressing a press conference at the Secretariat here.

A letter will be written to Kerala in this regard, he said.

Earlier, he chaired a meet of top officials and Ministers to review the steps taken for proper drinking water distribution to the people in view of the scarcity situation in the state.

On the Mullaperiyar dam issue, he said: "Honourable Kerala Chief Minister should extend cooperation to store 152 feet water as per the Supreme Court order. Tamil Nadu faces a severe water problem."

He also sought the Kerala government's cooperation to implement the Aanamalayar, Nallaru projects to meet the needs of farmers and the public in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts.

Pointing to the Supreme Court judgement on the dam issue, which had said water could be stored to the full level of 152 feet after carrying out strengthening works, he alleged that Kerala, however, had scuttled refurbishment works.

As early as three years ago, Tamil Nadu had floated Rs 7.85 crore worth tender and begun dam strengthening work.

"Kerala, however, created several stumbling blocks to begin work. We could not transport materials like sand and take labourers," he said.

"We need every drop of water," he said, adding people in five districts, including Theni and Ramanathapuram, are dependent on Mullaiperiyar water for their livelihood.

Going into the factors that led to water shortage situation, Palaniswami cited factors like monsoon failure, deficient rainfall and a dip in the water table.

The government has been taking appropriate steps to address the issue, he said.

Also water from other sources did not materialise, he pointed out.

Tamil Nadu received only 2 tmc Krishna river water from Andhra Pradesh, while the state should have got 18 tmc ft of water, the Chief Minister said.

"Now, they (AP) say Kandaleru dam has only about 4 tmc of water. Water could be pumped to Chennai through the canal only if the storage is 8.5 tmc at the reservoir," he said, adding there was no possibility to get Krishna water as of now.

Also, Tamil Nadu was yet to receive its share of Cauvery waters, he pointed out.

Despite the Cauvery Water Management Authority directing release of 9.11 tmc water to Tamil Nadu for the month of June, Karnataka was refusing to comply, the Chief Minister said.

If this was the present situation, Tamil Nadu "will not get a drop of water" if a dam came up at Mekedatu, he said.

On Stalin's criticism, asking him why he had not met his Karnataka counterpart to press for water, the Chief Minister said that as per the CWMA directive, water should be released to Tamil Nadu and there was no need to 'supplicate' anyone.

He recalled that last year when he tried to meet then Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for water, it was not entertained and water release for drinking need was not considered.

However, he clarified that during that period, there was no Cauvery authority and in view of such a scenario, he made an effort to meet his counterpart.

The Chief Minister also wanted Stalin to respond to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's poll promise in Karnataka, wherein he had "assured building a dam at Mekedatu across Cauvery and disbanding CWMA."

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