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Karnataka says Hogenakkal project illegal

July 21, 2008 18:58 IST

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Terming the controversial Rs 1,334 crore Hogenakkal water project being executed by Tamil Nadu as "illegal," the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka on Monday said it would convene an all-party meet to discuss it.

While Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa told the state assembly that he would convene an all-party meet in Karnataka on the Hogenakkal issue, Minister for Energy K S Eswarappa, replying to a Congress member, said the project was "illegal."

Eswarappa, replying on behalf of Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, said both the Centre and Tamil Nadu had not yet responded to queries sought by Karnataka on the project.

"The state is ready to consider the opposition suggestion to pass a resolution in the House opposing the project and even to take an all-party delegation to the Centre to halt it," he said to a query by Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli (Congress).

"It has been a constant practice for the Centre to mete out stepmotherly treatment to Karnataka and help neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and Goa [Images]," he charged.

He alleged that the UPA government was not acting on Karnataka's plea to direct Tamil Nadu to stop work on the project as it was getting support from the ruling DMK.

The project, aimed at catering to drinking water needs in fluorosis affected Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts, bordering Karnataka, was opposed by Yeddyurappa before the recent assembly polls. Pro-Kannada groups had also staged violent protests against the project.

The Tamil Nadu government said it has obtained requisite clearances from the Centre and ordered commencement of work on the project after the polls.

Yeddyurappa said that soon after assuming office, he had met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [Images] and suggested that a meeting of chief ministers of all states be convened to discuss certain issues.

He said the all party meet in Karnataka would elicit views of the opposition parties on various important issues like acute shortage of power and fertilisers.

The chief minister, intervening during question hour, charged the Centre with allocating 100 MW of the state's unallocated share to Andhra Pradesh at a time when Karnataka was facing "an unprecedented power crisis."

Yeddyurappa said Karnataka has deputed its officials to several states to explore possibilities of purchasing energy wherever available to tide over the power scarcity. Efforts were on to purchase 50 MW of power each from Jindal and Tata power [Get Quote] generating units, he said.

Opposition Congress leader M Mallikarjun Kharge's objected to Yeddyurappa making public announcements on setting up a 2000 MW thermal power plant in Chattisgarh while the legislature session was on, to which Yedyurappa clarified that talks were on with Chhattisgarh to set up the plant, but that a final decision had not yet been taken.

Yeddyurappa said he had called on his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh to discuss the issue and also to plead for about 300 MW of power. "I hope Chhattisgarh gives 200 to 250 MW of energy to the state," he added.

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