Even as Tamil Nadu (TN) is entangled in a long battle with its upper riparian neighbour Karnataka over the sharing of Cauvery River water, it smoothly entered into an accord with Kerala on Wednesday agreeing to release 1,200 mcft of water under the Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP).
Earlier last week, the Kerala Cabinet had resolved to approach the Supreme Court as TN was unable to release adequate water due to the prevailing distress in the western region.
However, TN worked out an amicable settlement at a three-hour emergency meeting of the Joint Water Regulatory Board in which officials from both States participated.
As per the pact, TN would release 1,200 mcft of water to Kerala for irrigating 20,000 acres of paddy fields in Palakkad till end-January 2013.
As per the original PAP agreement, TN has to release 1750 mcft throughout the year from Sholayar and Aliyar dams. “Already between December 15 and 26 we had released 250 mcft of water,” a TN official said.
The State has been releasing 497 cusecs water through Manacadavu weir from Aliyar dam near Pollachi regularly.
“TN was unable to release water as scheduled due to the failure of the Southwest and Northeast monsoon. We did not have sufficient water for irrigating fields in Tirupur and meet drinking water needs in Coimbatore,” the official explained. Kerala has agreed to the distress sharing formula. “The Board will meet again in the first week of February to decide on further release,” he added.