Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI: The State and Central Governments should initiate earnest and immediate steps to ensue sustainable and reliable irrigation systems by linking rivers to mitigate drought-like situations, Pattali Makkal Katchi president G.K. Mani has said.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Mr. Mani said that Tamil Nadu, especially the southern districts were reeling under drought-like situation with the crop wilting due to shortage of water for irrigation and people were craving for drinking water.

Prices of essential commodities were spiralling alarmingly.

Hence, the Union and State Governments should look for permanent solutions to this problem by linking the rivers, he said.

If the Achchankovil-Pamba-Vaippar rivers were linked, for which the Central Water Authority had given its consent 20 years ago, the districts of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram would be blessed with three crops a year while the neighbouring Kerala could generate 1,000 MW electricity by establishing hydro electric power projects.

“The Centre should mediate between the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to ensure the linking of these three rivers as the water is going waste into the Arabian Sea now,” Mr. Mani said.

He came down heavily on the Tamil Nadu Government for failing to check rampant sand mining and its exports to even neighbouring countries and selling of liquor.

Later, he attended the party workers’ meeting that discussed the conduct of organisational elections at the earliest.