The Chief Minister pointed out that DMK chief M K Stalin had criticised him for saying he would visit Israel to study water conservation technology while allowing surplus water in river Cauvery to drain into the sea.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday asserted that steps would be taken to resolve river water issues, including the Mullaiperiyar in Kerala in two months. Hitting out at the DMK for targeting the government on the disputes, he said the main opposition party does not have the locus standi to question it since such disputes were not resolved when that party was in power.
Days after a meeting with his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan over differences on water-sharing, Palaniswami said committees of officials from both the states were being set up to hammer out a solution. Giving a backgrounder to his recent Kerala visit, he said Tamil Nadu had issues with the neighbouring state over Mullaiperiyar, Shenbagavalli dam, Pandiyaru-Punnampuzha, Neyyar and Parambikulam Aliyar.
To end such rows and get water for drinking and irrigation purposes, the Chief Minister said he had written to Vijayan and he was invited for talks. Inaugurating a special grievance redressal meet at Neykarapatti near here, he asserted that pending issues would be sorted out, adding these can be resolved “only by constituting committees.” There would be one panel of senior officials in each of the two states – Tamil Nadu and Kerala – and they would work in tandem to identify issues and find a solution, he said.
“I would like to tell you that in about two months, we will take steps to resolve the issues. My government is not like yours (DMK) to put (pending) matters on the backburner for years,” he said.
Exuding confidence that the dialogue with Kerala would bear fruit, he said the DMK need not be worried about it. “During your regime, you enjoyed power and were not worried about the people. We are focused only on the welfare of the people.” “What locus standi do you (DMK) have to comment on the issue…we are making an effort, and if you voice your support it will be good,” he said.
Rather than supporting the government’s initiative, DMK leader Duraimurugan has spoken in a manner suggesting that dialogue with Kerala was only to project that the government was functional, he said.
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The Chief Minister pointed out that DMK chief M K Stalin had criticised him for saying he would visit Israel to study water conservation technology while allowing surplus water in river Cauvery to drain into the sea. Demanding to know the number of check dams built during DMK regime from Mettur to Kollidam across Cauvery, he said the chief of the main opposition party does not have the right to question his government since they did nothing during their rule and not a single check dam was constructed.
The work for building a check dam across river Kollidam (a tributary of Cauvery) at Aadanur Kumaramangalam has begun and it was on, he said. A study was being carried out to identify locations to build check dams from Mettur to Kollidam. A detailed project report was being prepared to construct one such facility near Karur as part of phase-one and work would start in about four months, he said.
“Steps are being taken by Amma’s (late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) government to build three or four check dams between Mettur and Kollidam.” Construction of check dams across streams would be done in three years at an estimated cost of about Rs 1,000 crore, he said.
Priding himself as a farmer who knew the importance of water, Palaniswami said a team of retired engineers was also working to identify locations to conserve surplus water and would soon submit a report to the government. A high-level meeting between Pinarayi Vijayan and Palaniswami was held on September 25 at Thiruvananthapuram wherein it was agreed to form secretary-level committee to go into water issues.