Joining issue with DMK president M Karunanidhi on the status of Kuruvai cultivation in the delta districts, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday ridiculed his posers and charged that the betrayals of the DMK chief in Cauvery water issue were the root cause of the present woes of the delta farmers.
Giving a detailed account on the measures taken by her government to ensure Kuruvai cultivation in one lakh acres despite Karnataka government’s failure to release Cauvery water and the failure of monsoon rains, the Chief Minister said her government would take definite steps to get Tamil Nadu’s due share of Cauvery water. She also pointed out that she had already announced measures for the delta farmers, which included supply of three-phase power for 12 hours, provision of 6,000 HDPE pipes free of cost and distribution of fertilisers, pesticides and micro-nutrients.
Reacting to Karunanidhi’s charge that the opening of the Mettur dam was being delayed, Jayalalithaa said it was an open secret that the dam was not opened due to meagre storage levels. She pointed out that the dam was opened six days in advance in 2011 and the modern techniques introduced by her government had resulted in increasing the foodgrain production to 102 lakh tonnes in 2011-12. During the previous DMK regime, it stood at just 76 lakh tonnes.
On Karunanidhi’s charge that her government was frequently approaching the Supreme Court and blaming the Centre for the situation, ultimately pushing the farmers to face hardships, she said the truth was to the contrary. Karunanidhi spent four years idling after the final verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was given in 2007, without taking any step to notify it in the Union Gazette. It was her government that approached the Supreme Court and ensured the notification of the award, she said.
Even then, the Congress-led UPA government of which DMK was a part, did not make any effort to set up the Cauvery Management Board or Cauvery Regulatory Committee. Again, it was her government that moved the SC and got an interim arrangement - the formation of a supervisory committee.
At the supervisory committee meeting held on June 1, Tamil Nadu sought the release of 63.18 tmc ft of Cauvery water from Karnataka. However, the chairman of the committee said this was not possible as there was not enough water in the neighbouring State’s dams and that a decision would be taken on this issue in the next meeting scheduled for the first week of July.