Special Correspondent

VELLORE: The scheme to bring water from Hogenakkal must be implemented to ensure adequate water supply to the district till the project of linking rivers is implemented, especially in view of pollution to the groundwater by the tannery effluents in and around the Palar, according to the Public Works Department Minister Durai Murugan.

Referring to the demand made by C. Gnanasekharan, MLA, for extension of the scheme to the district at a function organised in connection with the distribution of benefits under the Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam on the Deboer Hostel grounds here on Wednesday, Mr. Durai Murugan said that the water available to the district had been less and polluted.

The groundwater, in and around the Palar, was unfit for drinking or irrigation. The Minister said that some of the options open to the district were diversion of water from Thenpennai to the Palar during floods, bringing water from the Thungabadhra (as suggested by late N.T. Rama Rao) or the linking of all rivers in the country.

“Till these long-term schemes are implemented, the only solution is to bring water from Hogenakkal,” he said. The Minister said that he was prepared to lead a delegation of MLAs of the district to meet the Chief Minister to urge him to implement the scheme soon.

Collector Dharmendra Pratap Yadav said that out of the 2,853 works taken up in 150 villages in the district, under the AGAMT at a cost of Rs.88 crore last year, 2,000 works had been completed. The remaining works would be over soon. A total of 2,500 works had been taken up in another 150 villages at a cost of Rs.142 crore this year.

Mr. Durai Murugan released a book on the AGAMT. Collector Dharmendra Pratap Yadav received the first copy.