Kerala's Water Generosity Has Ebbed Out, Says Antony

Thiruvananthapuram, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
Be it Cauvery, Parambikulam-Aliyar or Shiruvani, Kerala cannot afford to be benevelont anymore on the issue of river water sharing, Chief Minister AK Antony has said. The river accords were made in 1940s' when water was a surplus commodity.

The state government also cannot relent in its opposition to the implementation of the proposed Pampa-Achenkoil-Vypar link project, Mr Antony told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet here.

"If the project is implemented, the low-lying Kuttanad region of the state would become a desert. It will affect the geography, livelihood and even lives of millions in the four neighbouring districts. In fact, it is not an inter-state water issue, it is a stark human survival question," he said.

The chief minister, answering a question, said that he has directed the concerned officials to complete the repair of Thottapalli spin way and Thanneermukkam bund immediately. Work is on in war-footing to block saline water from entering the Kuttanad paddy-fields lying below the sea-level.

Asked how Kerala could voice unilateral opinions on bilateral accords with other state governments, Mr Antony said this was where Centre had to intervene. "Earlier Kerala could be somewhat generous. But now, the state has no excess river water for sharing with any of the neighbouring states," he added.