Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday refuted the charges of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa for levelling charges on the Mullaperiyar dam issue against him without verifying facts.
In a statement, Mr Karunanidhi said that in November 2006, he took part in a meeting chaired by the then Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz. Among others who represented the State were Durai Murugan, then Public Works Minister and Arcot N. Veeraswami, Electricity Minister.
Responding to Ms Jayalalithaa’s statement in which she asked whether Tamil Nadu attended the November 2006 meeting, the Chief Minister said his address in the meeting and his subsequent interaction with reporters in New Delhi and Chennai were reported in the press. Besides, he had pointed out then that the dam was safe and there was no basis for any apprehension. He had expressed the hope that the Kerala government would extend cooperation wholeheartedly in implementing the Supreme Court’s order of February 2006.As for the issue of building a new dam on Mullaperiyar, Mr Karunanidhi, quoting from minutes of the meeting, recalled that when Kerala Chief Minister [V.S. Achuthanandan] had raised it, the PWD Minister [Mr Durai Murugan] had replied that the idea was considered in 1979 and found not feasible. When the Kerala Water Resources Minister [N.K. Premachandran] had again reiterated the need for a new dam, the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary [L.K. Tripathy] restated the position.
Pointing out that AIADMK’s two representatives, O.Paneerselvam and K.A. Sengottaiyan, attended an all-party meeting chaired by him on the issue in October 2006, the Chief Minister said she could have ascertained the details from them, before issuing a statement.
As for Tamil Nadu’s non-participation in the meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife in September, he said only those States whose proposals were under consideration of the Committee would be invited for deliberations. As there was no proposal from the State, no one from Tamil Nadu attended the meeting.