The Centre has assured that it would not go ahead with the Pamba-Achankovil-Vypar river linking project without the consent of Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the state assembly today. The state had all along taken a stand that Pamba-Achankovil would not be allowed to be connected with Vypar river in Tamil Nadu under the inter-linking of rivers project, he said in a written reply.
State representatives had always put forward this stand at the meeting of technical advisory committee governing body of the National Water Development Authority, that had prepared the feasibility study report on the project, Vijayan said. The Chief Minister said that NWDA authorities had assured the state that further steps on the river link would not be taken up without the consent of Kerala.
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Besides, Kerala had also pointed out its opposition to the project at the Special Committee for interlinking of Rivers, he said. With regard to the issues related to inter-state water disputes, Vijayan said state government had already given its recommendations for amendments to be brought in Inter State River Water Disputes Act 1956 proposed by the Centre. Kerala has asked for a clear cut definition of inter-state rivers, he added. Kerala is already locked in a dispute with Tamil Nadu over its proposal to replace the more than a century-old Mullaperiyar Dam in Idukki District, owned and operated by the latter.
The state has cited safety concerns for the proposal while Tamil Nadu been opposing it saying the move would affect interests of farmers in its southern districts as they depend on the Mullaperiyar river water for irrigation. Last week, the Tamil Nadu government has moved the Supreme Court accusing Kerala of not allowing it to carry out maintenance works in the dam.