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Hogenakkal row: Karnataka seeks PM's intervention

Last updated on: June 29, 2009 22:16 IST

Racting sharply to the statements made by Tamil Nadu on the Hogenakkal water project, Karnataka on Monday said that it is not right to go ahead with the project unless and until the border row is resolved.

Minister for Water Resources, Basavaraj Bommai told mediapersons at Bengaluru on Monday evening that Karnataka would be seeking the intervention of the Centre to ensure that this project was put on hold.

Bommai said that he will be writing to the Prime Minister and seeking his intervention on the matter.

The Centre must intervene and ensure that the project will not be taken up unilaterally, he also said.

Earlier on Monday, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin said that Rs 1,334 crore Hogenakkal drinking water project, was on track and expected to be completed by 2012.

"The Chief Minister (M Karunanidhi) had put the project on hold last year only to avoid any confusion or violence whatsoever at that time (as assembly elections were due in Karnataka). The project is now on track and is expected to be completed by 2012," he told the state assembly.

Karunanidhi had come under fire from opposition parties for "unilaterally putting on hold" the project allegedly to favour Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's ally Congress in the Karnataka elections.

Karnataka had objected to the Japanese-aided project, meant to supply drinking water to Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts bordering the state, on the ground that its share of the inter-state Cauvery water would be affected.

Winding up the debate on grants for the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, held by him, Stalin said he himself had visited Japan to secure loan assistance from Japanese Bank of International Cooperation.

"Tenders for the first phase of the work have been issued and the work is scheduled to start in 3-4 months. In fact, we want to finish the project ahead of the completion time like the Ramanathapuram Drinking water project," he said.

Stalin said work on two desalination projects near Chennai were also on track. Responding to members' demands, he said a drinking water project for Vellore using Cauvery water at a cost of Rs 1,400 crore was being prepared.

Additional reportage: PTI

Vicky Nanjappa