M. Malleswara Rao

Notwithstanding T.N. government’s plea to stop project

Apex court did not issue any interim order on T.N. plea

The court only proposed an amicable settlement

HYDERABAD: Notwithstanding the dispute raised by Tamil Nadu, the Andhra Pradesh government here on Thursday decided to go ahead with the construction of the project across the Palar river at Ganeshpuram in Kuppam mandal of Chittoor district.

A “conclusive stand” to this effect has been taken by the government as the Supreme Court did not issue any interim order on Tamil Nadu’s plea to stop the project, sources said. Instead, the court had proposed to the Centre to settle the dispute amicably.

No official-level meet

So far, the Centre has not convened any meeting of the officials of the two States.

Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy gave the go-ahead for the projects after discussions with Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah in the wake of a recent statement by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that Andhra Pradesh had started work on the dam.

State government officials maintain that the project does not involve impounding any large quantity of water. For that matter, the availability of water in the Palar is not heavy and the project planned by the State too is not large. The row, however, threatens to undermine the good neighbourly relations between the two States otherwise, especially in supply of water of Krishna water to Chennai through the Telugu Ganga project.

The project, the cost of which has been revised to Rs. 55 crore, envisages construction of a check-dam-like structure at Ganeshpuram, just four km from the A.P.-Tamil Nadu border. It is planned to use 0.2 thousand million cubic ft (tmcft) of water, a quantity not even equal to a fourth of Himayathsagar, one of the several sources of drinking water supply to Hyderabad. It will irrigate about 4,000 acres and supply drinking water to villages around, official sources said.