Tamil Nadu

Can’t a country embarking on lunar probe missions, construct a tunnel for farming: HC

In a country which has been embarking on lunar probe missions at present and boasts a rich history of ancient architectural marvels, it is completely unacceptable to hear from the State government that it is “technically not feasible” to construct an under tunnel or a overhead super passage for providing water to farmers, the Madras High Court has said.

Justice K. Kalayanasundaram made the observation in a verdict in which he disapproved of a “casual” stand taken by the State government on a plea by Nallar-Palar Pasana Padugai Vivasayigal Sangam, an association of farmers dependant on Nallar, a tributary of Palar originating in the Western Ghats.

After directing the government to construct either an under tunnel or a overhead super passage for 33.2 km across the Contour Canal within three months, the judge said: “It is pertinent to note that the agriculturists in general are not able to meet both the ends in the present era and they are suffering a lot for their survival.

“If it did not have any genuine grievance, the petitioner association would not have filed this writ petition. The respondents (government officials), without understanding the grievance of the members of the association, have filed a counter affidavit in a casual manner stating that under tunnel or overhead super passage is not technically feasible.

“The respondents are bound to protect the interest of the agriculturists and if they are unable to fulfil their commitments citing technical issues, in my considered opinion, other committed and skilled professionals should be employed to fulfil the obligations of the government,” a stinging observation made by the judge, in the verdict, read.

In an attempt to state that there was no dearth of talented professionals in the country who could make anything possible, the judge pointed out that the country’s two lunar probe missions Chandrayaan-I as well as Chandrayaan - II were led by none but Tamil scientists Mylswamy Annadurai and K. Sivan respectively.

Even before the invention of modern technology and the absence of infrastructural facilities such as road and transport facilities, the countrymen had displayed great engineering capabilities by constructing beautiful dams. Even the Contour Canal was formed in the Western Ghats in the 1960s by piercing a hard rock for a distance of about 50 km, he said.

Since the members of the petitioner association residing in Ravanapuram, Devanurpudur, Pungamuthur, Sellappampalayam, S. Nallur and Arthanaripalayam were of the view that they had been deprived of their riparian rights from Nallar river after the construction of Contour Canal, the State was duty bound to provide them water through alternative arrangements, he concluded.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 3:12:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cant-a-country-embarking-on-lunar-probe-missions-construct-a-tunnel-for-farming-hc/article29718988.ece

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