Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has pointed out the need for taking urgent measures to meet the dire water supply situation that the city is likely to face in the coming months due to the failure of two successive monsoons in the region.
In identical letters sent on Thursday to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Water Resources Minister P J Joseph, Tharoor pointed out that it was now more or less certain that, following two successive tardy monsoons, the state in general and Thiruvananthapuram city in particular, are likely to face a severe shortage of drinking water supply in the ensuing summer of 2013.
The MP mentioned that, however, one heartening factor was that certain viable options are available to handle the crisis. These include immediate action for laying a pipeline to carry water from the Neyyar dam to the Aruvikkara reservoir. In addition, a necessary long-term measure would be construction of check dams along the approximately 33-km connecting channel between the Peppara dam and the Aruvikkara reservoir to save excess water flowing from the former structure, in times when the inflow to that dam is substantial.
In his letter, Tharoor stressed the point that during the term of the previous government in the state in 2009, he had successfully taken up with the then Union Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh the question of granting approval for raising the height of the Peppara dam.
The Minister had given in-principle clearance to the idea, subject to compensation of forest land elsewhere for the portion of forest that would be submerged thereby.
However, sad to say, the then state government failed to properly act upon that opportunity obtained from the Union Government and the matter is still in limbo.