Tamil Nadu

Centre unlikely to fund Cauvery project

The way ahead: Getting an ‘in-principle clearance’ from the Ministry will be a pre-requisite to securing funds in any form from any source

The way ahead: Getting an ‘in-principle clearance’ from the Ministry will be a pre-requisite to securing funds in any form from any source   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

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While appreciating the initiative, the Ministry did not ‘commit itself much’ to supporting it financially

The State government’s plan to secure full financial assistance from the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti for its flagship project, Nadanthai Vaazhi Cauvery, may not fructify.

About 10 days ago, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam discussed the project with Secretary of the Jal Shakti Ministry U.P. Singh, apart from seeking funds for various other projects in the water sector. Though the Centre was appreciative of the idea of rejuvenating the Cauvery, and was willing to support the project in different ways, it did not “commit itself much” to supporting the project financially, an official told The Hindu.

Another official explained that the Union Ministry’s role will, even otherwise, be crucial for the project to take off. Getting an “in-principle clearance” from the Ministry, which was earlier known as Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, will be the pre-requisite to securing funds in any form from any source. A preliminary report has been submitted to the Ministry, and this has to be followed up with the preparation of a detailed project report. As per the preliminary report, the project’s cost is around ₹11,250 crore.

Broadly, there were two reasons for the State government to moot such a project. Apart from drawing inspiration from the Namami Gange initiative, the Centre had thought of taking up similar projects in respect of other major rivers, including the Cauvery, Narmada, Mahanadi and Godavari.

In June, when Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he sought Central assistance for Nadanthai Vaazhi Cauvery.

In the light of the Central government’s response, the State government is mulling over two options. One, to tap funds from the existing Central schemes and tomeet a portion of the cost with the State’s own funds. There are Central funds already available for setting up sewage treatment plants.

And two, to let the Water Resources Conservation and Rivers Restoration Corporation borrow funds from different sources. The official added that steps were afoot to have staff sanctioned for the Corporation. In October, the government appointed K. Satyagopal, who retired as Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Revenue Administration, as Chairman and Managing Director of the entity.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:52:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jal-shakti-ministry-unlikely-to-fund-cauvery-project/article30447290.ece

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