Letter to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Parambikulam-Aliyar project)

Dear Sri. Edappadi K. Palaniswami,

I would like to bring to your kind attention the serious concerns that we have on continuing violations of the conditions of the Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) Agreement.

As you will appreciate, the PAP Agreement guarantees Kerala of a specified quantum of water at both the Manacadavu Weir and at Kerala Sholayar. Kerala’s entitlement in a water year is secured irrespective of whether the water year is normal or distressed. It is quite unfortunate that Tamil Nadu has consistently not released the required quantum of water not only as per the fortnightly schedule incorporated in the Agreement but also as per the decisions of the Joint Water Regulation Board (JWRB).

In the month of July, 2017 Tamil Nadu supplied merely 161 MCFT of water at Manacadu Weir as against an assured entitlement of 260 MCFT. Also in the current fortnight of August, a discharge of approximately 50 Cusecs only is being maintained by Tamil Nadu against the required discharge. Our repeated requests to ensure a minimum discharge of 200 Cusecs have not been heeded to. The situation has been further aggravated by diverting water from the Parambikulam Dam to Thirumoorthy Dam through the contour canal instead of releasing the same to the Aliyar Dam for further releases to Manacadavu Weir in Kerala. It is quite regrettable that Tamil Nadu is not intending to abide by the Agreement conditions and is acting in a manner that is detrimental to Kerala.

You would agree that the spirit of the PAP Inter Basin Water Transfer and the Agreement is that the lower riparian rights must be first met. As per the agreement, Tamil Nadu should first maintain the assured discharge at Manacadavu Weir after which it can divert water to the Thirumoorthy Dam. Non compliance of this condition is adversely affecting the water stressed and drought prone Chitturpuzha Valley. Also the diversion from the Sholayar sub basin by Tamil Nadu without maintaining the water levels in the Kerala Sholayar has serious deleterious effects in the Chalakudy Basin. It is regrettable that the Agreement conditions are being dishonored despite our magnanimity shown in continuing to cooperate long after the Agreement became due for review.

You may kindly recall my letter No. 1777/ISWC2/15/WRD dated 29th April, 2017, wherein I had clearly highlighted the dire situation of the Chitturpuzha Valley during the lean season and I had proposed that both parties to the Agreement should review the same in the wake of extreme climate variability in the PAP Basins. I have not had any response from your end to my proposal for review despite your informing me that the same is being examined. Given the severity of the developing situation I propose that we meet at the earliest to set the process for the review of the Agreement.

In the mean time I request for your immediate intervention to ensure water supply is restored at Manacadavu Weir and Kerala Sholayar as per the terms of the Agreement that is guaranteed to Kerala as to redress the water stress being faced by the Chitturpuzha and Chalakudy Basins. You may appreciate that any continuing inaction in this regard will leave us with no option but to review the Inter Basin Water Transfer within Kerala.

I look forward to a swift resolution of this issue and will appreciate your early response.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

PINARAYI VIJAYAN

Sri. Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Hon’ble Chief Minister
Government of Tamil Nadu,
Chennai.