With Tamil Nadu facing a severe water crisis, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office has claimed it had offered to supply 20 lakhs litres drinking water to the neighbour, but the state has refused it.
Meanwhile, Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani said on Thursday evening that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will on Friday take a decision on Kerala’s offer to supply 20 lakh litres of water by train from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai to tide over the water crisis.
The Minister’s response came after the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office posted a statement on Facebook stating that Tamil Nadu had declined its help to supply water (on a one-time basis).
The statement said, “Kerala is willing to assist Tamil Nadu in tackling the crisis caused by water scarcity. We could deliver 20 lakh litres of drinking water through the rail network. In response to our offer, we have been informed that at present Tamil Nadu has sufficient supply and doesn’t require additional assistance from Kerala.”
“Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office contacted the office of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister with this offer. However, we have been informed that the assistance was not required now. The government of Kerala wanted to send 20 lakh litres of drinking water through train from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai.”
DMK president and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin criticised the Tamil Nadu government for “rejecting” the help from the neighbouring State and urged that the water be accepted. Despite rainfall deficit, the storage in Kerala’s reservoirs is much better than in Tamil Nadu.
Velumani said in a statement late on Thursday that the offer from Kerala was a one time supply of 20 lakh litres of water.
“The minimum demand in Chennai for a day is 525 MLD (Million Litres per Day). The proposed supply of 20 lakh litres (2 MLD) from Kerala can be arranged here itself. Hence we told Kerala authorities that if need arises, we will definitely approach them for help,” read the statement. A final call on the decision to ask Kerala for help would be taken in the meeting to be conducted on Friday, the statement said.