Tamil Nadu puts Hogenekkal scheme on hold

April 5th, 2008 - 3:01 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 5 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government Saturday put on hold the Rs.13.3 billion contentious Hogenekkal Drinking Water Supply scheme being protested by Karnataka till the May elections are held in the neighbouring state. “Let us maintain peace and wait till an elected government assumes office in Karnataka to decide the future course of action on the Hogenekkal Water Supply Scheme,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announced Saturday.

Karnataka’s opposition to the Rs.13.3 billion scheme, aimed at reaching drinking water to a millions of people in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts of Tamil Nadu, has led to protests in the two states. The project, on the Hogenekkal waterfall, is located some 350 km southwest of here.

What started as a minor claim over an island in the Cauvery River led to attacks on eateries, cinemas, schools and other establishments in the capitals of the two south Indian states. It has now ballooned into a major political crisis after being whipped up by language chauvinists on both sides.

Karnataka politicians have now claimed that the picturesque waterfall of Hogenekkal belongs to their state and that Tamil Nadu’s scheme is illegal, a charge denied by the Karunanidhi regime.

Karunanidhi laid the foundation stone of the project on Feb 26 after a Japanese bank offered to fund it.

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