Says there is suspicion over delay in notification of Cauvery award

Suspicion has arisen among many that the delay in the notification of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the Union government’s gazette may have been due to the meeting between a delegation of Members of Parliament belonging to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in December, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Friday.

Pointing out that the Tribunal delivered the final award in February 2007 when the DMK government was in office, she accused DMK president M. Karunanidhi of having not taken any step to secure Cauvery water and get the final award notified while in power.

After she returned to power in May 2011, she had urged the Prime Minister to have the final award notified. A petition in the Supreme Court too had been filed. The Cauvery Monitoring Committee also made a recommendation. There were reports in the press that the Union Law Ministry too had given its nod. Yet, the award was not published in the gazette.

Referring to the DMK president’s statement that it was on his advice that his party’s delegation had met the Prime Minister, she said it was not known what the delegation conveyed to Dr. Singh. Nothing appeared to have been given in writing too. It also seemed that no memorandum was submitted by the DMK to the Prime Minister.

Referring to the recent direction of the Supreme Court to the Union government to notify the final award by February 20, she was “boundlessly happy” to inform the members of the House that the development was a successful outcome of her government’s “constant urging” and “sustained, continued and relentless efforts,” Ms Jayalalithaa added.

‘Crime rate down’

Asserting that the crime rate in the State had come down after her government assumed office, she told the House that as on January 28, complaints on land grabbing, numbering 53,777, were received. Of them, 1,673 cases were registered and 1,943 accused arrested. So far, 2,711 acres of land and about 10.07 lakh sq feet of housing plots, valued at Rs. 1,137.66 crore, had been retrieved from land grabbers and handed over to legitimate landowners.

Fuel price

She called for a change in the methodology of determining prices of petrol and diesel, by taking into account factors such as the cost of production of crude oil available in the country and that of refinery. The change would facilitate not only the availability of petrol and diesel at lower prices but also help contain the prices of essential commodities.

On the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Ms Jayalalithaa appealed to the Union government to take cognisance of a motion adopted by the Assembly on the issue and work together with other countries in getting a resolution adopted in the United Nations Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka.

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