The lion that roared once

Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan was one of the strident voices against Kerala getting a raw deal in its water agreements with Tamil Nadu. That was when he was the Opposition Leader.Politics is the art of the possible. When he became Chief Minister one of his first moves was to get the Assembly pass a resolution permitting release of water from the Neyyar project to Tamil Nadu. He was reportedly under pressure from the CPI (M) politburo, which wanted to curry favour with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Karunanidhi.

Now, Mr. Achuthanandan is proceeding to ink an agreement with Tamil Nadu that would force Kerala to supply water from Neyyar dam to Tamil Nadu for years to come. There would be no quid pro quo. Kerala is not even raising the demand that the Parambikulam Aliyar inter-State river water agreement, which was due for revision for more than 35 years, should be the first priority. Nor, is there any talk on Mullapperiyar. All the noise made by Mr. Achuthanandan as Opposition Leader is forgotten.

The move also comes at a time Neyyar is becoming an aged dam needing repairs. But Mr. Achuthanandan is not even saying that adequate price would be collected for the water from Tamil Nadu. Won’t Tamil Nadu raise a hue and cry and file a number of cases if the water level is to be brought down on account of the poor condition of the dam?