Chennai/New Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami Tuesday urged the Centre to sanction a Rs 10,700-crore Cauvery river rejuvenation scheme announced by him on the lines of Namami Gange Project.
During a virtual meeting with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Palaniswami said he has announced ‘Nadandhai Vaazhi Cauvery’, a scheme for rehabilitation and rejuvenation of the river, which is 'the lifeline of Tamil Nadu, not only for agriculture, but also for drinking water'.
'Estimate has been prepared for Rs 10,700 crore and the WAPCOS (a techno-commercial firm under the Centre) is preparing the DPR,” he said.
“I request that this project may be sanctioned as a special programme like the Namami Gange Project and may be taken up as a national project,' he said.
On the Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to provide piped drinking water to rural households by 2024, he said 34 lakh households are proposed to be covered by giving tap connections in the current year.
For 2020-21, against an allocation of Rs 2,375 crore, Tamil Nadu has allotted Rs 2,265 crore to the districts to provide 20 lakh household connections, he said.
'Remaining 14 lakh households will be covered by converging funds of various schemes. We have already covered about 4 lakh connections and propose to complete the rest by March, 2021,' the CM said.
Shekhawat on his twitter handle said, 'Today, held a virtual meeting with CM Tamil Nadu Sh.E.K. Palaniswami through VC along with MoS Sh.R L Kataria and officials of the ministry.
“Discussion held over the ongoing work of providing piped water along with other aspects of timely implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.' Also, Palaniswami reiterated Tamil Nadu’s opposition to Karnataka pitching for a dam across Cauvery at Mekedatu and the Central Water Commission giving permission for preparing a Detailed Project Report.
He wanted the CWC and the Cauvery Water Management Authority to reject the proposal.
'Similarly, Karnataka has been constructing an anicut across Penniyar river against the agreements in force. Tamil Nadu has filed a case before the Supreme Court and based on the court’s order, negotiation committee meetings have been held by the CWC. As there is no progress in these meetings, we have requested the government of India to form a Tribunal immediately. Urgent action will be appreciated,' he said.
The National Water Development Agency should be instructed to expedite preparation of the DPR for the Godavari-Cauvery River link proposal, he said.
On the Dam Safety Bill, the chief minister said the state which owns, operates and controls a dam should have full operational control with regard to safety.
'Tamil Nadu's request for corrections in the Dam Safety Bill may be included before introduction of this Bill in Lok Sabha,' he added.
On the JJM, a statement on the virtual meeting between the chief minister and Shekhawat said Tamil Nadu is planning 100 per cent coverage by 2024.
So far, of the 126.89 lakh rural households in Tamil Nadu, 25.98 lakh (20.45 per cent) are provided with tap connections. In 2020-21, Tamil Nadu plans to provide tap connections in 33.94 lakh households, the statement added.
“The Union minister had a detailed discussion on the progress of the mission in the state with the chief minister who assured expeditious implementation of the mission in the state so as to provide household tap connections in rural areas to every family in a time-bound manner,” it added.
Emphasising the importance of the mission to improve the lives of rural people, Shekhawat stressed on augmentation and retrofitting of existing water supply schemes in 12,523 villages and urged to start this work in campaign mode so that the remaining households of these villages get tap connections in next 4-6 months.
The state can provide 55-60 lakh households tap water connections from existing piped water supply systems. “It was further urged that the state should focus on functionality of the existing water supply systems, so that service delivery to households is not disrupted, for which proper measurement and monitoring system should be put in place to monitor the quality, quantity and regularity of water supply,” the statement said. PTI VGN BN PR TIR TIR