CWMA may discuss link canal scheme

Mekedatu dam issue may also be taken up during August 31 meeting

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), which is scheduled to hold its meeting on August 31, may discuss the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link canal scheme being executed by the Tamil Nadu government, apart from Karnataka’s Mekedatu dam project.

The meeting assumes importance for more than one reason as it is going to be held in New Delhi in the conventional way after a gap of 18 months. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, seven meetings were held through videoconference.

Additional Chief Secretary (Water Resources and Public Works) Sandeep Saxena is likely to represent the State at the meeting, which would be the 13th since the constitution of the Authority in June 2018.

Sources said that though the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link scheme was listed as one of the items on the agenda for the previous meeting of the Authority held two months ago, it was not taken up.

The approval of the CWMA has become a pre-requisite for Tamil Nadu to secure financial support from any external agency or Central government body. As of now, the idea is to get the scheme implemented through NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA).

On February 21, a few days before the announcement of the schedule for the Assembly election, the then Chief Minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, laid the foundation stone for the first phase of the Cauvery-Agniyar-South Vellar-Manimuthar-Vaigai-Gundar link canal scheme. Currently, the first phase is being executed using the State’s funds as the previous AIADMK regime had sanctioned around ₹330 crore.

According to the State government, the scheme intends to make use of the surplus water available. The proposed canal, beginning from the Kattalai barrage (about 138 km downstream of the Mettur dam) in Karur district, will connect the rivers from the Cauvery to the Gundar over a length of 262 km. It is estimated to cost about ₹6,941 crore.

On Mekedatu

As for the Mekedatu project, the State government will reiterate its opposition to it if the Authority deliberates on the matter.

The CWMA will also review the realisation of Cauvery water by Tamil Nadu since June 1. As of Tuesday (August 24), the State received about 51 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), as against its share of 76 tmc ft, leaving a shortfall of around 25 tmc ft.

In the current month, it should have got approximately 35.6 tmc ft, but its realisation was 15.3 tmc ft.

Source: Read Full Article