T. Ramakrishnan

It has nothing to do with power generation or irrigation, says Minister

CHENNAI: The Rs. 1,334-crore Hogenakkal drinking water project has nothing to do with power generation or irrigation, Tamil Nadu Public Works Minister Durai Murugan said here on Thursday.

Asked for his reaction to the former Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna’s remark that whether the project had provided for power generation or had an irrigation component, Mr. Durai Murugan told The Hindu that he was surprised at Mr. Krishna’s statement. “We categorically say it is only a drinking water supply project. The question of providing for power generation or irrigation does not arise. We are going to use 1.4 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) for the project. How can there be a power generation component or irrigation?”

On the status of the project, a spokesman of the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board, the executing agency of the project, says his organisation had shortlisted five firms for appointment as a project management consultant, after floating a global tender. The list of names of the companies has been sent to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the funding agency. Once its approval is received, the TWAD Board will further initiate the process for implementation of the project.

On the features of the project, the spokesman explains that the Cauvery river, which enters Tamil Nadu at Hogenakkal, is the source for the project. At the entry point, headworks will be set up and from there, raw water will be pumped to a master balancing reservoir at Madam, about 11 km from Hogenakkal. A treatment plant will also be established at Madam.

The project has been proposed to provide supply to the water-starved areas of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.

It envisages the supply of 128 million litres a day (MLD) in the intermediate stage (2021) and 160 MLD in the final stage (2036). It will benefit 30 lakh people now and 40.4 lakh eventually. It will cover three municipalities, 17 town panchayats and 6,755 rural habitations in the two districts.

Of the total length of 6,945 km of the conveying main, water will be pumped for 145 km to cover areas such as Palacode, Marandahalli and Hosur.

For this purpose, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has promised to provide uninterrupted supply of 30 megawatt. For the remaining areas, water will be conveyed through gravity, says the spokesman.

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