Madras High Court censures TN govt for terming water project ‘technically infeasible’

The Madras High Court has censured the Tamil Nadu government for terming a proposal for uninterrupted supply of water to a group of villages “technically not feasible”, while drawing a contrast with India’s space missions to the Moon and a planned programme to study the Sun.

Allowing a petition of a farmers’ association, Justice K Kalyanasundaram on Wednesday directed the government to build within three months an underground tunnel or overhead super passage across a contour canal near Pollachi in Coimbatore district.

He said though the proposal for the construction of a super passage at a cost of Rs 15 lakh was made six years ago, nothing happened and the plea for allowing the natural flow of water was considered “technically not feasible” by the government.

“The government is bound to protect the interest of the agriculturists and if they are not able to fulfil their commitments citing technical issue, in my considered opinion, committed skills be employed to fulfil the obligations of the government,” he said.

Nallar-Palar Irrigation Area Farmer’s Association in a plea had sought a super passage or tunnel in the area as the natural flow of river Nallar, the main source of water for six villages, had been blocked after the formation of Parambikulam Azhiyar Project and diversion of the river water to a contour canal.

The riparian rights of the agriculturists were seriously affected and they were deprived of their livelihood, the farmers’ association said.

Justice Kalyanasundaram in his order highlighted country’s technological prowess.

In the 21st century, India successfully launched Chandrayaan-1 on October 22, 2008 by a PSLV-XL rocket and the Chandrayaan-2 on July 22 this year by a GSLV Mk III and the vehicles had to travel more than 3.84 lakhs kms (to the Moon), he said.

“We are proud to say that both the teams were led by Tamilians — Mylswamy Annadurai and K Sivan. Now, it is proposed to launch Aditya-L1 prob, to study the Sun, and it shows there is a large scale of development of technology in India,” he said.

Justice Kalyanasundaram also observed how in 1960s a contour canal was formed in the Western Ghat by piercing a hard rock for a distance of about 50 km and at some places water was taken through tunnels.

He said it is apposite to note that in the 20th century, when there were absolutely no roads and transport facilities, beautiful dams had been built in the Western Ghats and they are still serving their purpose.

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