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Survey of India’s help sought in Hogenakkal dispute

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SPLENDID SPOT: A file picture of the Cauvery cascading down the Hogenakkal Falls.
SPLENDID SPOT: A file picture of the Cauvery cascading down the Hogenakkal Falls.

Muralidhara Khajane

‘Tamil Nadu officials expressed their inability to participate in joint survey’

The two States have agreed to get the survey done by an ‘independent agency’

No officials from either State to be involved in the work

MYSORE: In view of non-cooperation from Tamil Nadu Government to conduct joint survey to put an end to the controversy over the control a 400-acre island near Hogenakkal Falls, as a last ditch effort, Karnataka has requested the Survey of India to conduct verification of State boundary between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

D. Thangaraj, Principal Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department, has written to the Director-General of Survey of India, Hyderabad, on June 23, to conduct verification of State boundary between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, in view of inability expressed by the survey officials of Tamil Nadu to cooperate for the Joint Survey for “administrative reasons”.

Postponed

The much awaited joint survey, which was to commence by March end, was postponed indefinitely after Revenue Department officials of Tamil Nadu expressed their inability to participate in the survey.

They failed to attend preliminary meeting convened by the head of Joint Survey Committee (JSC), M. Shivamadaiah, to finalise the frame work of the joint survey in Mysore on March 14. Principal Secretary to the Revenue Department, Tamil Nadu, communicated the inability of survey officials to participate in the preliminary meeting.

According to Mr. Shivamadaiah, Tamil Nadu Government had agreed to bear all the expenses of providing security to the survey team, fixing of stones and general clearance and to share the expenses equally with Karnataka after the completion of the survey. But officials refused to participate in the preliminary meeting citing delay in sanctioning of funds for the survey.

Despite efforts of the Karnataka Government to conduct the joint survey to end the controversy, Tamil Nadu government offered one or the other excuse to postpone the survey.

While Karnataka is claiming that the island near the falls is in its territory, Tamil Nadu is disputing that.

Boycott

A joint survey of the area was conducted by the officials of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Survey and Settlements Departments. When officials from Tamil Nadu insisted that the land belonged to their State, their counterparts in Karnataka boycotted the survey. Despite efforts from Karnataka to commence fresh survey,

Tamil Nadu did not show any interest in view of general election in 2005.

Tamil Nadu cold-shouldered another attempt by Karnataka to commence a joint survey in March 2008.

This development had hampered the relationship between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which was strained because of the move by the Tamil Nadu Government to take up Rs. 1,340-crore drinking water project.

Political overtones

Pro-Kannada organisations in border area, especially Chamarajanagar Zilla Abhivruddhi Horata Samithi and Hoegnakkal Ulisi Horata Samithi, are up in arms against the Tamil Nadu move. They are opposing the Tamil Nadu Government’s move by holding various kinds of protests.

To end the stalemate, Karnataka has decided to have an “independent agency” to conduct verification of boundary between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Long-pending issue

Mr. Thangaraj in his letter to the Director-General, said: “The joint verification work of the boundary between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to finalise the inter-state boundary is pending for some time.

Of late, the matter has become a public issue and likely to become a controversy with political implications between the two States.

Efforts have been made from Karnataka’s side requesting Tamil Nadu to cooperative to solve the issue, which has not resulted in completion of work.”

Verification

Mr. Thangaraj said that, in view of the development, it was decided to have an independent agency to conduct verification of boundary between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and the Survey of India had been selected to undertake the assignment.

It could involve the staff other than those from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to complete the work and necessary support would be provided to the team.

Mr. Thangaraj requested the Director-General of Surevey of India to take up the work at the earliest and intimate Karnataka on the proposed date of survey, required funds and, facilities to be made available to the team. He urged him to accord priority to the subject in view of seriousness of the issue.

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