Tamil Nadu begins work on Hogenekkal water project

June 19th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu), June 19 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government Thursday began work on the controversial Rs.13.34 billion drinking water project in Hogenekkal, on the border with Karnataka, which had witnessed frenzied protests by the neighbouring state earlier. The Hogenekkal Drinking Water Supply Scheme project, aided by the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, is aimed to supply fluoride-free potable water to four million households here and in neighbouring Krishnagiri district.

On Thursday, a field office was set up in Oddapatti Village, some 300 km southwest of capital Chennai, to resume the project work.

The applications of two firms have been short-listed by the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board and forwarded to the project’s sponsors Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, board managing director Swaran Singh told the media.

The contract is expected to be awarded in July.

The Hogenekkal Falls, situated on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is part of a dispute between the two riparian states. The falls are part of Cauvery river that flows from Karnataka into Tamil Nadu and empties itself into the Bay of Bengal.

Karnataka maintains the drinking water scheme would affect its share of the Cauvery river waters.

The Tamil film industry had lent glamour to the dispute in Chennai during a day-long hunger strike April 4.

Since the late ’70s, the two states have been claiming that the other is using more than its fair share of water.

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