MADURAI: Reiterating that her government’s steadfastness and effective handling of the Mullaiperiyar dam case resulted in the historic verdict of the Supreme Court in favour of Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday said firm steps would be taken to raise the storage level to the dam’s full capacity of 152 ft once the works for strengthening the dam were completed.
“People of Tamil Nadu are my children. As such, I took the Mullaiperiyar dam issue as my personal problem and have worked without wasting time and with your cooperation, we have won the case… it is our victory,” the CM said in her acceptance address at the grand function here to felicitate her for getting the verdict of the apex court for raising the dam’s storage level.
Renewing her promise to work for the welfare and uplift of the farmers, Jayalalithaa said she would try to be a fit person for the praises heaped on her by the representatives of farmers, at the function.
Stating that Karunanidhi had betrayed the Tamils on every count, Jayalalithaa said, on the other hand, she had left no stone unturned to get justice for the farmers of southern districts. “On every occasion when the Mullaiperiyar case was taken up by the SC, I used to hold detailed discussions with the Public Works Department officials, engineers and legal experts,” she said.
Recalling the measures taken by the governments to get justice on the Mullaiperiyar issue, Jayalalithaa said in 2006, the SC had allowed Tamil Nadu to raise the storage level initially to 142 ft, but the Kerala government enacted legislation to keep the storage level at 136 ft thus insulting the SC order. Her government moved the court to declare the legislation null and void.
During the 2006 Assembly elections, the DMK-Congress combine campaigned that if the people voted in its favour, inter-State water disputes could be easily resolved. But after coming to power, both parties did not take any step towards that. “Since the wavering mind of Karunanidhi was on the side of ‘spectrum’, he ignored the interests of the Tamils,” she added.
Encouraged by the lethargic attitude of the DMK regime, the Kerala government had put forth the case for building a new dam in lieu of the Mullaiperiyar dam and the then government at the Centre too had given permission for carrying out studies for that.
But Karunanidhi denied that permission was given. Later, he said a protest rally would be taken out condemning the move but ultimately, he gave it up as well.
Though she was the Leader of Opposition then, the CM said that she had raised every issue related to the welfare of Tamils and staged many demonstrations thus forcing the DMK regime to act on the issues. When the DMK government failed to appoint its representative to the committee constituted by the Supreme Court for studying the Mullaiperiyar dam, she took up the issue forcefully compelling the DMK government to appoint Justice A R Lakshmanan to the committee.