Chennai, Feb 20 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday urged the Centre to declare the Godavari-Cauvery river link initiative as a national project and said if it was done, it would benefit people in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Speaking during the virtual meeting of the NITI Aayog being chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Palaniswami noted that Tamil Nadu stood first in the country in coverage under micro irrigation in 2019-20 and 2020-21, he underlined rejuvenation of river Cauvery.
He requested Modi for the declaration 'so as to benefit lakhs of people in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.' 'River Cauvery and its tributaries have to be rejuvenated on lines of 'Namami Gange'. Government of India is requested to accord sanction and extend financial assistance to Tamil Nadu, at the earliest,' he said.
On health, the CM said the Siddha system of medicine is a proud contribution of Tamil ancestors to the world.
'The international institute of yoga and naturopathy medical sciences is being established in Tamil Nadu. Overall budget to AYUSH at the Central level must necessarily be increased,' he said.
Under the National Perspective Plan, a draft Detailed Project Report of GodavariCauvery link project was completed by National Water Development Agency and sent to party states in 2019 and the project cost was an estimated Rs 60,361 crore at 2018-19 price levels.
As per the draft, about 247 thousand million cubic feet of water can be diverted from Godavari river to Nagarjunsagar dam and then further south for meeting the demands of Krishna, Pennar and Cauvery basins, according to the government. PTI VGN BN BN BN