Hogenakkal project to meet deadline: Stalin

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Chennai, Apr 16 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Local Administration Minister M K Stalin today informed the state Assembly that the Rs 1,334 crore Hogenakkal drinking water project would be completed as per schedule.

Replying to the demand for grants for his department, he said the project would not be delayed even by a single day and it would meet the deadline of Decemebr 2012.

The project, aimed at providing drinking water to the people of flouride-affected Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts by drawing the Cauvery waters from Hogenakkal flowing through Tamil Nadu, was temporarily put on hold following opposition from Karnataka and the subsequent violence in the two states.

Though Tamil Nadu had made it clear that Karnataka had agreed to the project while implementing the Bangalore drinking water project in 1998, the issue turned out to be a major inter-state dispute when some pro-Kannada outfits launched an attack on Tamils, demanding that the project be shelved.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly also passed two resolutions, seeking the Centre's intervention, and the entire Tamil film industry expressed solidarity with the state government by organising a day-long fast, seeking speedier implementation of the project.

Mr Stalin was instrumental in the project's implementation with securing financial assistance from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation during his Japan visit.

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had laid the foundation stone for the project on February 26.

But a political visit by BJP Karnataka unit president B S Yeddyurappa claiming that Hogenakkal belonged to Karnataka, led to protests both the states. Mr Karunanidhi then put the project on hold till a popular government was installed in Karnataka after next month's Assembly polls.

UNI GV GD SP KN1700

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