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Survey maps of disputed area available

Sharath S. Srivatsa

Row between State and Tamil Nadu on jurisdiction over island near the tourist spot of Hogenakkal Falls



PICNIC SPOT: A panoramic view of the area around Hogenakkal Falls. — Photo: M.A. Sriram

MYSORE: Even as the argument between the State and Tamil Nadu over an island near Hogenakkal Falls threatens to become a serious dispute, accurate maps of the area are available, which can be referred to by officials to determine the boundary.

These maps contain topographical details, such as islands, rocks, and Hogenakkal Falls itself, apart from the course of the Cauvery. They show Kollegal taluk on the Karnataka side and Pennagaram taluk of Dharmapuri district on the Tamil Nadu side. The boundary between the two States is clearly depicted on the maps by dotted lines along the middle of the course of the Cauvery.

The field survey of the area, which was then under the Madras Presidency, started in 1858. Since then different surveys have been conducted during different periods and detailed maps prepared.

These maps are in the custody of the Department of Survey and Settlement of the two States.

The former Joint Director of Survey, Chennai Central Survey Office, K.S. Raghavendra, speaking the The Hindu , said, "According to the prevailing system, when a river becomes the boundary of a village or a taluk, the middle of the river is considered the true boundary. During a survey, stones are placed on either side of the river, the boundary of which is marked (on maps) by continuous lines. The middle of the river is determined based on measurements taken on either side of the river and is shown by dotted lines in maps and other records."

According to the surveys, the Cauvery flows from the erstwhile Mysore State and enters the erstwhile Madras Presidency at the boundary between Kollegal taluk of the then Coimbatore district and Dharmapuri taluk of the then Salem district (presently Pennagaram taluk of Dharmapuri district).

The boundary between these taluks was determined and taluk maps compiled and published by the Department of Survey and Settlement nearly a century ago under the superintendence of the officer in charge of the Central Survey Office, Madras.

According to Mr. Raghavendra, "The relevant map of Kollegal taluk that was in Coimbatore district then, and which has now become a part of Karnataka, are available in the respective survey offices as the maps and records pertaining to the transferred territory have been transferred to the respective offices."

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