The State government will take steps immediately to get the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal notified in the Central gazette, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Tuesday.

Intervening in a debate on the Governor's address, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that after the award was notified, it would become binding on the Karnataka government to implementit.

This was why the previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government did not take any step.

She was responding to observations by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) whip K. Balakrishnan on the case pending before the Supreme Court in respect of the Tribunal's final order.

In another intervention, she said that during her regime and that of M.G. Ramachandran, all waste land were distributed to the poor. Five years ago, when the DMK leader M. Karunanidhi had made a promise on the distribution of waste land, she had pointed out that he was misleading the public.

Referring to CPI deputy leader S. Gunasekaran's statement, the Chief Minister said that her government decided to change the mode of payment of assistance money to destitute aged persons due to instances of postal staff not disbursing the solatium to beneficiaries.

Under the restructured scheme, the government would deposit the entire money with public sector banks, which, in turn, would open bank accounts of the beneficiaries and issue smart cards to them for the disbursal of the assistance money.

Mr. Gunasekaran, representing the Sivaganga constituency, said that in some fair price shops in his area, cardholders were compelled to draw five kg of raw rice.

Responding to this, Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju asserted that the government had not issued any such direction.

On the contrary, it was left to the choice of the card holders to draw raw rice or boiled rice. He wanted the member to give specific details of such shops for corrective action.

On his observation that the present allocation of Rs.50 crore would not be sufficient for the price stabilisation fund, the Chief Minister said what had been proposed was for meeting immediate requirements. If needed, the allocation would be enhanced.

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