SALEM: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami assured that new schemes will be rolled out to efficiently to utilise the rain water collected during this monsoon season and announced that a committee was set up to provide a detailed report on the same.The Chief Minister, who is in the district for four days to attend various programmes, spoke to media persons at the Salem Airport.
He talked about how construction of dams along the Cauvery, anywhere between Mettupalayam and Nagapattinam districts, would be a difficult task as the regions were mostly plains. Building dams there would result in the flooding of low-lying areas. This was evident with the flooding witnessed in areas like Komarapalayam, Bhavani and Kallivalaiyam in Erode district and in Tiruchy district, when two lakh cusecs of water was released from the Mettur dam, he noted.
“So, we have instructed out engineers as to where they could store water. A committee consisting of retired engineers have started work on calculating this. They will submit their report in six months; based on that, we will construct dams to store water. We will take necessary steps to save every drop of rain water in all parts of the State,” he announced.
Palaniswami recalled how the opposition parties had criticised him, when he last visited the Tirupathi Venkateswara temple and prayed for a solution to the Cauvery issue and for good rain in the Southwest monsoon. He had also pleaded for all dams, including the Mettur, to be filled this season. However, it was with the god’s blessing that the Mettur dam had attained it full capacity of 120 ft and most dams in the State were nearly filled to the brim.
“The Supreme Court clearly mentioned in its verdict that the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) will meet every month and will ensure water is released for us. In the past, Karnataka refused to give three TMC water to us. Now, due to the blessing of the almighty, they released 1.17 lakh cusecs of water to us. Nature is with us. The Supreme Court also clearly tells about the usage of surplus water. Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu could not store the surplus water (this season). So we could not calculate the (amount of) surplus water with the actual water share (allotted) for us. We will get our water share every month”, he assured.
The Chief Minister mentioned that he had written to the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari about the indefinite lorry strike and urged him to take steps to end it.Speaking about the ill health of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, he said that Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and a few ministers visited the leader’s house and learnt from his family that he was fine. Commenting on the rumours about there being a rift between him and Panneerselvam, he clarified that there was not problem between them. “Some people are expecting for problems to arise between us. But we are working together,” he added.
Addressing rumours about dengue in the State, he dismissed them and assured that there was enough stock of medicine in case there was a break out.Speaking about the property tax, he reiterated that it was reduced for residential buildings but mentioned that it was done as per the High Court’s order. About the controversial Salem-Chennai Greenfield Expressway Corridor, he informed that around 95 per cent of land-measuring works were completed. Claiming that only nine per cent showed opposition to the project, he said that 40 other roads in Tamil Nadu would be widened to reduce accidents.