Speaking to reporters on Friday, Appavu said that the drinking water scheme proposed to provide surplus water to drier areas of southern districts. If the scheme would have been implemented the companies would not have surplus water from the river for use. In the final report submitted by Tirunelveli Collector at the Court it was mentioned that the two companies are utilising only surplus water and hence there is no problem in two companies drawing water from Thamirabarani River. Based on the report the Court had dismissed the petition. The report of the Collector had drawn widespread flak across the state from various politicians. Appavu stated that the report of the Collector was not true and there was no excess water in the river. “The four southern districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram are dependent on Thamirabarani River and there are 29 integrated drinking water schemes on the river.
However, there exists severe shortage for drinking water in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi and how come there would be surplus water? questioned Appavu. He also said that it is only because of government’s apathy that the cola companies could draw water from the river. “If the Thamirabarani-Karumeni-Nambiyaru scheme was implemented by the government, surplus water would have been supplied to dry areas in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts and the cola companies would not have been able to open their plant here. Hence state government had indirectly facilitated the companies to draw water from the river,” he alleged Appavu had filed a plea at Madurai Bench of Madras High Court with the demand to stop supply of Thamirabarani water to cola firms in February 2016 and followed by him Advocate Prabahar, from Tirunelveli, too filed a similar petition in the High Court in November 2016. The two petitions were clubbed but the High Court dismissed the petition on Thursday allowing the two cola companies to draw water.