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River interlinking must be a national priority: TN

State urges Centre to come out with time bound action plan for the project

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

The government today said the Centre should take up interlinking of rivers under the National Perspective Plan (NPP) as in the case of Project.

Stating its position at the second meeting of the special committee for inter-linking of rivers at New Delhi today, NS Palaniappan, principal secretary in the state department of public works, said without following such an approach, the “project will be a non-starter” and expressed the state’s view that “waiting for developing a consensus with non-consenting states would only delay the project”.

The state government said a detailed project report (DPR) should be taken up for interlinking of Mahanadhi-Godavari-Krishna-Palar-Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar.

It may be noted that a feasibility report had been completed by the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) for the project.

Pending finalisation and execution of the entire component of this link, the state requested the Centre to extend financial assistance, including the cost for land acquisition according to the prevailing Act for implementing Cauvery (Kattalai)-Vaigai-Gundar link.

“This will facilitate diversion of flood surpluses to the benefit of water-deficit areas,” according to the chief minister’s speech, which Palaniappan had read out at the meeting.

As far as Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar Link Project is concerned, it was stated the NWDA had prepared a project report for the Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar link after assessing the yield and demand of Kerala, including its future requirements.

The diversion proposed to is about 22 tmc ft of water, which is 20 per cent of the surplus flows as assessed by the NWDA.

The state government explained as this link was beneficial to both the states, the special committee should instruct NWDA for the preparation of DPR on priority basis in order to ensure its faster implementation.

As the programme of interlinking of the peninsular rivers is a long-drawn process, the state government is planning to implement the linking of rivers within the state like Pennaiyar (Sathanur Dam) – Palar link, Pennaiyar (Nedungal Anicut) – Palar link, Cauvery (Mettur Dam) – Sarabanga link, Athikadavu – Avinashi Flood Canal Scheme and Thamirabarani – Karumeniyar – Nambiyar link.

According to the chief minister’s speech, the state had already sought financial assistance from the Centre, which had not been favourably considered by the previous government at the Centre.

“Such schemes proposed by the state government may be considered by the Government of India and the financial assistance, including cost for land acquisition should be extended to this government,” said the chief minister, who urged the Centre to come out with a specific time-bound action plan.

First Published: Tue, January 06 2015. 20:46 IST