Expressing disapproval over the Supreme Court’s decision to constitute a five-member Empowered Committee on the Mullaperiyar dam dispute, the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Saturday declared there was no need for Tamil Nadu to have its nominee in the panel.
Adopting a resolution to this effect at the general council meeting at the party headquarters here, the DMK argued that though the party did not oppose the move, it was in no position to accept the Supreme Court’s announcement, which sought to deflect the direction of the case filed by Tamil Nadu; create an impression in favour of an amendment enacted by Kerala to its Irrigation and Water Conservation Act and ignore the Court’s order in February 2006, permitting Tamil Nadu to raise the water level in the dam initially from 136 ft up to 142 ft.
“The general council strongly believes that there is no need for the Tamil Nadu government’s nominee to be present in the five-member committee to reiterate truth, which has been brought out by the seven-member Mittal Committee and the Supreme Court on the issue.”
[In June 2000, the Union Water Resources Ministry constituted a seven-member committee, headed by the Member of the Central Water Commission B.K. Mittal, to study the safety of the dam and advise the Union Water Resources Minister regarding raising of the water level of the dam beyond 136 ft.]
Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi chaired the meeting. The general council, attended by Deputy Chief Minister and the party treasurer M.K. Stalin and Finance Minister and general secretary K. Anbazhagan, passed 29 resolutions in total.
Calling upon the Centre to ensure the Sri Lankan government evolved a political solution to the Tamils question, the party wanted the settlement of internally-displaced Tamils, now lodged in camps, in their original places without delay.
The DMK, a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, urged the Union government to drop the draft National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill and restore education in the State List of the Constitution. The party also termed “unacceptable” the idea of a single entrance examination, as spelt out by Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal.
It also appealed to the Central government to reject recommendations of the Kirit Parikh panel on pricing of petroleum products and to not hike the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas cylinders.
The party called for the expeditious implementation of national highways projects in the State and laying a second rail line between Chengalpattu and Kanyakumari.
The DMK wanted Union and State governments to discuss with representatives of the Muslim community on the issue of compulsory registration of marriages. It asked the Central government to take steps on a war footing to contain the rise in prices of essential commodities.