Government Committed to Increase Mullaperiyar Dam Level to 152 feet: Jayalalithaa
MADURAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa reiterated her government's resolve to increase storage level in the Mullaperiyar dam to its full capacity of 152 feet after completing the remaining strengthening work, as per the Supreme Court verdict.
"I take pride in saying that this is your victory. This is a celebration of justice rendered to Tamil Nadu," she said in a thanksgiving meeting organised by several farmers' outfits for taking steps to get the dam level increased to 142 feet.
She said her government is committed to increase the dam level to 152 feet.
Stating that getting the dam level increased to 142 feet was the culmination of a 37-year-long struggle to get justice, she said her government had toiled with "self-confidence and endurance" on the issue to establish the rights of the state.
Tracing the long history of litigation between Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Mullaperiyar, which went to Supreme Court in 2002, she cited the Apex Court ruling of 2006, allowing storage of water up to 142 feet and the steps taken by her government to get justice to the state.
AIADMK was in power when the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in 2006.
Castigating arch rival and DMK chief M Karunanidhi, she said the DMK leader could have implemented the apex court ruling when his party assumed power in 2006 and increased storage to 142 feet by using his "influence" with the then Congress-led Central government.
"But did Karunanidhi do it? No...he did not have the concern and interest to do it," she said and narrated the story of a king to buttress her point that Karunanidhi did not pay "undivided attention" on the issue.
"His attention was on the side of Spectrum (2G)," she alleged.
Even when AIADMK was in the opposition, her party had staged many agitations and "goaded" the DMK regime to take steps to protect the interests of Tamils, she said.
A case in point was appointment of Justice A R Lakshmanan in the Expert Committee of the Supreme Court as representative of Tamil Nadu in 2010 when DMK was in power.
After she resumed power in 2011, Tamil Nadu's case was presented strongly before the court and finally the verdict brought justice, she noted.
Following her "determined pursual" with the Centre, a three-member panel was constituted and shutters were lowered on July 17 this year to increase storage to 142 feet,she said.
"I considered Mullaperiyar issue as my personal problem and worked for it as Tamil Nadu's people are my people (the word here also denotes children in Tamil)," she said.
"I will continue to work to better your lives," she added.