Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has sought help from Union Home Minister Amit Shah for three water projects that are essential for the welfare of the people and the agriculturists of Tamil Nadu.
On the Godavari – Cauvery Linkage, the Chief Minister said that the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Godavari – Cauvery (Grand Anicut) Link as Phase – I project of the Peninsular Rivers linkage and sent it to the States concerned, for their comments during March 2019.
The State government had justified the need to rework the link so as to terminate it in the River Cauvery at Kattalai Barrage, instead of Grand Anicut and had sent its comments to NWDA in September 2019 and February 2020. This request of Tamil Nadu is under the consideration of NWDA.
“I have written letters to Hon’ble Prime Minister, your goodself and Minister of Jal Shakti, to provide at least 200 TMC ft. of water to Tamil Nadu from this Phase – I project and ultimately 300 TMC ft. of water in Phase – II, when River Mahanadhi is linked with Godavari. I request you to take up the matter once again with the Minister of Jal Shakti, to expedite the DPR for this project and take up the work on priority basis, so that the water needs of southern States could be fulfilled while mitigating the problem of floods in Godavari,” Palaniswami told Shah.
On Cauvery-Gundar linkage, which is a part of the Godavari – Cauvery linkage, Palaniswami said the diversion of surplus flow to the drought affected part of Tamil Nadu will benefit several districts in Tamil Nadu.
The NWDA had prepared a draft DPR for Cauvery (Kattalai) – Gundar Project at an estimated cost of Rs.8,277 crore. Godavari-Cauvery linkage will enhance the utility of this project wherein surplus Godavari water can be diverted into this canal and will benefit areas up to Gundar in Virudhunagar district.
Diverting flood water from River Cauvery up to Gundar would improve the recharge of ground water, meeting drinking water needs, stabilisation of ayacuts in the drought prone areas in the districts of Karur, Tiruchirappalli, Pudukkottai, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar and Thoothukudi.
“Though the Ministry of Water Resources has not favourably responded to this project, I request you to direct the Ministry of Water Resources to reconsider the decision in view of its greater impact on the vast area of Tamil Nadu,” he told Shah. The project should be sanctioned on a priority basis and provide financial assistance, the Chief Minister said.
On the Nadanthai Vaazhi Cauvery – Rejuvenation of Cauvery and its Tributaries, Palaniswami said, the State government announced that river Cauvery would be rehabilitated and pollution in the river would be abated on the lines of “Namami Gange” Project.
An DPR has been prepared and the project cost is estimated to be Rs.10,700 crore. Since, the State Government cannot execute such a major project on its own, financial assistance from the Centre India is required.
Palaniswami urged Shah to take up the matter with the Minister of Jal Shakti, to consider this project as a Special Project like Namami Gange and to accord sanction and extend financial assistance.