Chennai, Apr 1 (IANS): Tamil Nadu Water Works Minister and senior DMK leader S. Duraimurugan said on Saturday that the state government is not slowing down the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar river linking project.
Speaking on the floor of the Assembly, Duraimurugan said the government is keen that the project is swiftly completed.
The opposition AIADMK had told the House that the project has been slowed down since the DMK came to power. The minister in his response said that in the past two years, the speed of land acquisition for the project and digging of canals have been accelerated.
The minister said that in 2020, the then AIADMK government had allocated an amount of Rs 600 crore for the project, but only Rs 34.31 crore was spent and 71.6 acres of land was acquired for the project, and the balance amount returned to the government treasury that year itself.
Duraimurugan in his speech said the DMK government has allocated Rs 312 crore in the past two years and acquired 698.97 acres of land. He also said that the present government has made a provision to retain the unspent money in a deposit for further use towards land acquisition, instead of returning it to the government treasury by the end of the financial year.
The minister also said that further allocation of Rs 554.17 crore for land acquisition has been made by the DMK government for 2023-24.
He said during the previous AIADMK government, no digging of canal took place during 2020-21, adding that during the DMK rule, Rs 177.9 crore has been allocated in the past two years and 64 per cent of the targeted work has been completed.
He also said that an amount of Rs 111.52 crore has been allocated for digging of canal during the 2023-24 financial year.
There was uproar in the House when former minister C. Vijayabhaskar of the AIADMK said that it was former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami who had allocated funds for the project and commenced work for it.
Duraimurugan confronted Vijayabhaskar by saying that the DMK government had commenced the construction of the barrage in Mayanur for the project when it was in power in 2009.