Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to go ahead with the construction of the Palar project across Palar River near Ganesh Puram in Chittoor district once the forest clearance comes from the Union Ministry of Forests & Environment.

Proposals have already been submitted to the Union Ministry with the offer of funds and alternative lands to take up afforestation in lieu of 145 hectares of the reserve forest that will be submerged under the project. The decision to go ahead with the project as originally envisaged, which was taken at a high-level meeting at the Secretariat on Thursday convened by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, assumes significance in the light of repeated objections raised by Tamil Nadu against it.

The Tamil Nadu government filed a petition before the Supreme Court, complaining that the project was taken up in violation of the 1936 agreement signed between by the then composite Madras and Mysore States, which prohibited construction of any project upstream of Palar. The Supreme Court, however, did not issue any stay on construction of the project sought by Tamil Nadu, the official said.

The A.P. government, however, explained that the project was taken up downstream and therefore, it would not be in violation of the agreement.