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Updated: July 16, 2013 02:11 IST

Kamaraj’s wish comes true

T. Ramakrishnan
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru taking a
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru taking a "watch-tower view" of the earth-moving operations at the integrated lignite project which he inaugurated on May 20, 1957 at Neyveli.

The former Chief Minister had asked Nehru if Centre would give State a share in NLC profits

It may be just a coincidence, but one wish of former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj became a reality on his 110th birth anniversary on Monday – the Central authorities agreeing to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s proposal of buying five per cent stake in the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

In May 1957, at a function to mark the inauguration of the Neyveli project, Kamaraj interjected while Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was addressing the function, according to Congress leader A. Gopanna in his well-researched work in Tamil titled “Kamaraj – An Era” five years ago.

Kamaraj wanted to know whether the Centre would give a share in profits to the State government. Nehru replied that this issue would be taken up when the occasion arose.

By then, the Union government had decided to implement the project as its own. This was why the query came from Kamaraj, whose record of remaining in office as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for an unbroken spell of nine years (1954-1963) remains intact.

From the beginning, the Neyveli project, which owes its origins to a group of great men of integrity and commitment to the public well-being, including Kamaraj, was conceived as an integrated scheme of lignite mining and electricity generation. But, in the years immediately after Independence, power production was regarded in certain quarters as one of the functions of the States despite the subject ‘Electricity’ figuring in Concurrent List of the Constitution.

It was against this backdrop that one had to view the Union Planning Commission’s opposition at that time to the Tamil Nadu government’s proposal that the Neyveli project be implemented as a Central scheme. While the Commission took the stand that the project was, in effect, meant for electricity production and the State government was free to execute it, the State’s position was that the project involved mining of a major mineral, which fell within the domain of the Centre.  

The second-in-command of Kamaraj’s Cabinet, C. Subramaniam, had even walked out of a meeting with the Planning Commission authorities, as narrated in Subramaniam’s memoirs, “Hand of Destiny” – Volume I (page 310).  

It was left to Kamaraj to prevail upon Nehru to agree to his government’s proposal. This was acknowledged by Nehru himself in the inaugural event of the Neyveli project, according to Gopanna. Over the last 56 years, Neyveli has become an important hub of power generation in the northern part of the State.

Its three power plants can generate 2,490 MW and lignite mines 28.5 million tonnes per annum.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National

Kamarajar! The Great!

from:  Shanmuga Sundaram
Posted on: Jul 17, 2013 at 03:20 IST

Good to see TN getting a stake after such a long time..We need to also consider that NLC has been providing royalties to TN since V.P.Sing's time and DMK played a role in getting that.NLC has always supplied electricity even with large overdues to all southern states including TN.One important thing to note is coal fired power plants are being extinguished around the world especially the ones like Neyveli mine that depletes ground water in addition to displacing large number of villages and destroying fertile land. This may explain the strategic offloading of stake by center in that case TN govt is not making a sound investment.

from:  Eraniyan
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 21:19 IST

No disrespect to Kamaraj and CS. Kamaraj asked for a share when DMK started protesting against this sellout.What has happened now is that the central government has asked Tamilnadu to pay for the resources that they already own.

from:  Ganapathi
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 18:33 IST

Kamaraj rule in Tamil Nadu was a golden rule which can not be denied by anybody.His great vision and support he got from Nehru, had resulted in the establishmentof Madras Fertilizers Ltd, Madras Refineries ltd, and Boiler plant(BHEL) apart fromestablishment of Neyveli Power Plant, which in turn provides jobs both directely andindirectly to laks of people. I still remember that when India China war broke out inin 1962, press correspondents asked Kamaraj, at the Tiruchi airport , whether Boilerplant would be shelved in view of the war. He had replied the work will go on.This was reported by The Hindu . We will never every get such great visionary and self lessman to serve the State.

from:  G.Ramachandran
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 10:08 IST

Sir, Kamaraj is the greatest personality and see his shining face simply glowing. TN never had such tall leaders after him. Pro poor/Tamil the DMK and ADMK favoured is not yielding results. The primary education itself is in doldrums in TN. Still the people of TN are moving to liquor, free food, free TV and made the people as beggers by their programmes. MK had a long innings but very selfish and crooked brought TN to an all time low in education. Reservation system has simply spoiled efficiency and merit and you see how our students behave and all are due to the rowdy culture created by the dravidar parties. We need visionary leaders with patriotic feelings. Corruption from 1967 to present has reached great heights. People still are poor why ??? due to the present day politicians.

from:  Natarajan.A
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 09:09 IST

This article should be an eye opener for those who bray on their victory on their demands. It is utterly cowardice to try to own the due credit of others as one's own. The real victory with the NLC shares to TN is for the late CM, Kamaraj. Not to any living thing. For, such things were not even in egg when K. Kamaraj put forward to Nehru his request in demand that the NLC shares should be allotted to TN too. Got it?

from:  C. Sachidananda Narayanan
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 09:01 IST

Kamaraj, a great visionary,thought about the next generations and implemented schemes that empowered Tamilnadu.The leaders who came after him always thought about next general election and implemented populist schemes. Difference may appear to be small but impact is phenomenal.

from:  N.Swami Durai Velu
Posted on: Jul 16, 2013 at 03:59 IST
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