Chennai, May 24: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has asked officials concerned to complete the Rs 1,334-crore Hogenakkal Drinking Water Project as per schedule, which was put on hold following objections and violence in Karnataka.
Mr Karunanidhi gave this direction to the officials while chairing the review meeting of the Municipal Administration and Water supply department headed by Local Administration Minister M K Stalin here yesterday. He directed the officials concerned to complete the project as per the time frame fixed by the government.
Mr Karunanidhi had laid the foundation stone for the project on February 26. The project envisaged provision of quality drinking water to the people of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts where the ground water has high level of flouride content.
Tenders had already been called for appointing the project management consultant. The government would finalise the consultant in two months time. Work on the project would commence early next year and would be commissioned in December 2012.
The project was aimed at bringing the Cauvery river water flowing through Tamil Nadu to meet the drinking water requirements of the people of the two districts.
The project, a long pending dream of the people of the two districts, at last saw some light at the end of tunnel, when Mr Stalin secured financial assistance from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) three months ago.
Following opposition from Karnataka when BJP leader B S Yediyurappa raised a banner of revolt by visiting Hogenakkal, the issue gained alarming proportions with pro-Kannada outfits in Karnataka opposing it tooth and nail, leading to violence in both states.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed unanimous resolutions urging the Centre to extend full support and assistance to the state for completing the project at the stipulated time.
It also wanted the Centre to take steps to prevent Karnataka from opposing the project.
Pained by these developments and the violent incidents, Mr Karunanidhi had, on April five, announced that the project was being put on hold till a popular government was installed in Karnataka after the Assembly polls in May. He hoped that a new government would abide by the 1998 agreement to implement the drinking water project.