Centre to consider Kerala’s concerns on Pamba-Achenkovil-Vaippar river inter-linking

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016,11:50 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Kerala Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas has said the Centre has agreed to take into account the state’s apprehensions over the inter-linking of Pamba-Achenkovil-Vaippar rivers.

Union Minister Uma Bharati assured that the inter-linking of Pamba-Achenkovil-Vaippar rivers would not be considered without taking due note of Kerala’s apprehensions, Thomas said after the 30th Annual General Meeting of National Water Development Agency (NDWA) here Wednesday. During the meet, the Kerala minister insisted that the expansion of scope and jurisdiction of NDWA should not be a move to overrule the states’ authority. Expansion of scope and jurisdiction of the NDWA including a mandate to implement projects in the state goes against the spirit of the Constitution which includes water as a State subject, he said. Studies conducted by various national agencies have identified that there is no surplus water in Pamba and Achankovil rivers, he said, adding that he requested the Centre to drop these rivers from the list of Inter-linking of Rivers project.

He also said that the state is not satisfied with the Cauvery Tribunal verdict on the basis that Cauvery is a water deficit basin. I would like to reiterate that Kerala stand firm on its legitimate demand of 99.8 TMC water, he said.

During the meet, the minister also said that NWDA’s inclusion of the diversion project from Barapole to Upper Cauvery in the report of the sub-committee under the future works of NWDA 2015-19-intra-state link of Karnataka is erroneous. Barapole is the upper reach of Valapattanam river which is flowing through Kannur district and diverting water from there will reduce the water flow affecting several existing projects like Pazhassi Irrigation project, Kerala Barapole Hydro Electric project etc, minister said. Categorising an inter-sate river as an intra-state river by NWDA is a flaw that cannot be overlooked, he said, adding that he had demanded NWDA to drop the proposal to divert water from Barapole.