Proceedings of the meeting recorded
Karnataka asks State to stop project
CHENNAI: As early as 1998, Karnataka had agreed to the execution of the Hogenakkal combined water supply scheme, according to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy.
Karnataka gave its consent at a meeting taken by the then Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry on June 29, 1998, in which Tamil Nadu’s representative also participated. The proceedings of the meeting were all recorded, Mr. Tripathy told The Hindu on Monday.
According to an official of the Public Works Department, Karnataka was represented at the 1998 meeting by the then Chief Secretary, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board Chairman and the technical adviser while the then additional secretary in the PWD of Tamil Nadu attended the meeting.
Responding to the observations of Karnataka Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao that his Government had written to Tamil Nadu requesting it to stop all the development works at Hogenakkal till the dispute was resolved, Mr. Tripathy said, “There is no dispute from our standpoint.” His reply, reiterating Tamil Nadu’s position, also stated that the State would be using water on the side of Tamil Nadu out of the allocation made to it.
So, there would be no extra demand for water, the Chief Secretary said, adding that all formalities for the scheme had been completed.
While Mr. Rao sent a letter to Mr Tripathy on February 28, the latter sent his reply on March 8. On March 17, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Addressing presspersons in Bangalore earlier in the day, Mr. Rao said Karnataka had sought the Union Ministry’s intervention to resolve the dispute between the two States.
The Rs.1334-crore Hogenekkal scheme, envisaging supply of 160 million litres a day to 40.4 lakh people in the dry districts of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri, is being taken up with the funding of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Mr. Karunanidhi laid the foundation stone for the project on February 26. On March 16, former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa organised a stir at Hogenakkal against the project. On March 27, the Tamil Nadu Assembly adopted a resolution, urging the Centre to extend “full cooperation and help” in executing the project.