The Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam affiliated to All India Kisan Sabaha has urged Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to allot funds for the early commencement of the Pennar-Palar link project.
In a statement, executive member R Mullai, while welcoming the announcement of the PWD Minister Ramalingam in the State assembly on Thursday that the Chief Minister had decided to execute the `250 crore scheme with the State funds, said, the National Water Development Agency attached to the Union Ministry of Water Resources had conducted a detailed feasibility study on the Pennar-Palar link, that would help divert excess water from the Krishnagiri dam to Palar through its tributary, Kallaru, to benefit the water-starved Vellore district.
“We were happy when the CM announced that both the projects to divert water from Sathanur and Krishnagiri dams to benefit Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Vellore districts would be implemented this year.
The Chief Minister had also mentioned that the `253 crore would be spent on providing a link between Krishnagiri dam and Palar river through Kallar (a tributary of Palar).
The Finance Minister had also announced in the budget that the government would take necessary action for the early commencement of the Pennar-Palar link project. But we are disappointed that Vellore had been left out,” he said.
Mullai said, Vellore, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chennai districts depended heavily on Palar for drinking water and irrigation. Blockades and reservoirs constructed by the neighbouring States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the past two decades in the up stream of the Palar had undermined the water recharge capacity of the river.
The State government should therefore accord top priority to the Pennar-Palar link, to benefit Vellore and the other northern districts, and announce adequate budgetary allocation for executing this project at the earliest, Mullai added further.
A Asokan, president of the Ambalur-based NGO Movement of Environment Protection and Social Development, urged the State government to explore the possibility of tapping the excess water from the Nethravathi-Hemavathi river link project in Karnataka through formation of a canal in the east to divert excess water, which was otherwise draining into the Arabian sea, to revive the dying Palar.
Asokan said that Vellore MP Abdul Rahman had reportedly taken up the issue with the PM earlier. He said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also should add pressure to get the project cleared at the earliest.