Staff Correspondent

Nanje Gowda seeks the Union Government’s intervention in Hogenakkal issue

‘Construction of dam will submerge land on

both sides’

Meeting of experts, officials from both States sought

HASSAN: The former Irrigation Minister H.N. Nanje Gowda on Thursday appealed to the Prime Minister to direct Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi not to issue instigative statements on the Hogenakkal project and to put it on hold. He also wanted the Centre to convene a meeting of representatives of both the States in this regard.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Gowda charged Mr. Karunanidhi with making irresponsible statements and expressed regret over Governor Rameshwar Thakur’s silence on the issue.

He said that in the guise of implementing drinking water supply schemes, Tamil Nadu should not go in for power generation. The case was still before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Mr. Gowda said the Cauvery river flowed from Hogenakkal to Biligondlu for over 64 km. On the left bank lay Tamil Nadu and on the right, Karnataka.

Twenty-five tmcft of water was available in the Hogenakkal area, which was termed “common reach”, he said.

He said that the Tamil Nadu Government had approached the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and had requested it to sanction the release of 1.46 tmcft (55 cusecs) of water to meet the drinking water requirements of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri towns.

The tribunal agreed, and the Union Water Resources Ministry allowed it to undertake drinking water supply schemes for the two towns.

Dam construction

Mr. Gowda said that instead of lifting water from the river through a jack well, Tamil Nadu was trying to construct a dam at Hogenakkal. If this was done, land on both sides would be submerged. “There is no need to construct a reservoir to lift 55 cusecs of water.

The Hogenakkal area is a disputed site, and both States should refrain from starting any new project without the permission of the tribunal,” he said.

Experts from both States, elected representatives and officials should hold discussions on the issue. If this was not done, the controversy would only continue. He charged the Union Government with trying to pander to the interests of Tamil Nadu for political gain. “On the other hand, Mr. Karunanidhi has learnt the art of brining pressure upon the Union Government,” he alleged.

Joint survey

Mr. Gowda said the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal had requested the Union Government to conduct a survey in Hogenakkal to demarcate borders. But Tamil Nadu was not cooperating, he alleged.