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“Karnataka has no locus standi to oppose Hogenakkal scheme”

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE: Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel deployed at Zuzuvadi checkpost in Hosur on Tuesday.

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE: Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel deployed at Zuzuvadi checkpost in Hosur on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: N. BASHKARAN

Special Correspondent

Tamil Nadu implementing it based on NOC issued by Centre: Tripathy

CHENNAI: Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy asserted here on Tuesday that Karnataka had no locus standi to oppose the Hogenakkal drinking water supply scheme as Tamil Nadu was implementing it based on a ‘no objection certificate’ given by the Centre.

He told reporters that the NOC was issued by the Centre on September 21, 1998 after convening a meeting of both the States on June 29, 1998. At the meeting, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had agreed not to object to drinking water supply schemes as long as the State concerned utilised water from its allocated share.

Tracing the project’s history, Mr. Tripathy said on April 24, 1998, the then Karnataka Chief Minister J.H. Patel wrote to the Centre stating that Tamil Nadu should not have objection to the Bangalore water supply scheme as long as it was utilising the Cauvery water from its allocated share.

(This was in response to the Tamil Nadu’s objection to the Karnataka’s move to utilise the Cauvery water for supplying drinking water to Bangalore city.)

The Union Ministry of Water Resources then convened a meeting of the States on June 29, 1998. The Chief Secretary of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu’s Special Secretary of the PWD represented their States.

After the meeting, the Union Ministry said according to the national water policy, highest priority should be given to drinking water supply schemes. So the Bangalore and Hogenakkal schemes should be considered.

Subsequently, on September 21, 1998, the Union Ministry cleared the Hogenakkal scheme after taking into consideration all the views of the governments concerned and policies on such matters.

The Ministry stated it would have no objection to Tamil Nadu utilising Cauvery water from its allocation to the project. “If the Government of Tamil Nadu withdraws its objection to the Bangalore water supply scheme, Karnataka would also abide by conditions laid down by the Union Ministry for the Hogenakkal scheme.”

The Chief Secretary said the argument that Karnataka had put forth for the Bangalore water supply should hold good for the Hogenakkal scheme, too.

As Tamil Nadu was going to use water from its allocated share there should not be any objection from Karnataka.

Mr. Tripathy said the project site was on the left bank of the border, “which is well within Tamil Nadu. The question of straying into Karnataka does not arise.” The State was in constant touch with Karnataka in this connection.

Bus services unaffected

Traffic between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka remained normal on Tuesday despite rumours of unrest in Karnataka.

Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) sources said there was no disruption in services from Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts to Karnataka.

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