The Puducherry government on Sunday said it has chosen PWD Chief Engineer P Swaminathan as the Union Territory’s nominee for the Cauvery Management Board and claimed it was the first time in the river water dispute it is getting represented in a panel to make out its case. “With the Supreme court giving direction to the Cauvery basin states, including Puducherry, to select their respective nominees, the government has sponsored the Chief Engineer”, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told reporters here.
He said the Water Resources Ministry has been informed about this.
Narayanasamy said this was the first time in the river water dispute that Puducherry had been getting representation in a panel to make out its case and to ensure the share in the river water on which Karaikal depended for farm operations.
He said it was the government’s duty to take care of the interest of farmers of Karaikal in the Cauvery river basin.
The Apex Court had on September 20 directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board, as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its award.
While taking Karnataka to task on Sept 30 for repeated “defiance” by flouting its orders for release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and directing it to discharge 6,000 cusecs water from Oct 1 to 6, it had ordered all stakeholders – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pudduchery – to give names of their representatives to be included in CMB, to be chaired by the Union Water Resources Minister.
On other issues, Narayanasamy said Karaikal Mahe and Yanam regions, all enclaves of the Union territory, would emerge defecation free by March next year as the government has taken firm steps to implement Swachch Bharat Abhiyan expeditiously.
Puducherry region would become open defecation free segment by October next year, he said.
“As much as Rs 120 crore would be spent by granting subsidies to households to construct toilets in their houses and this amount includes funds from the Centre,” he said.
Narayanasamy said that during his recent visit to Delhi, he had held discussions with the Civil Aviation Minister to ensure air connectivity from Puducherry to destinations like Tirupati, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Kochi.
“There are firm indications that the air service will go on stream in January next”, he said.