Mullaperiyar: tempers run high

Special Correspondent

DMK objects to MDMK MP's remark

MPs urge Centre to take over the administration of the dam if necessaryKerala Assembly resolution depriving Tamil Nadu farmers of additional water

NEW DELHI: The Mullaperiyar dam issue on Saturday saw frayed tempers in the Lok Sabha and offered a glimpse of the changing equations in the United Progressive Alliance.

Raising the issue, C. Krishnan (MDMK) said the decision by Kerala not to raise the level of the dam had resulted in rainwater flowing into the sea. His remark that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was also keen on the issue raised objections from DMK MPs.

C. Kuppusami (DMK) said that over 200 lakh acres was being irrigated with water from the dam and said the resolution passed by the Kerala legislative Assembly had deprived the farmers of Tamil Nadu the benefit of additional stored water. He urged the Centre to intervene and make a statement on the issue.

N.S.V. Chitthan and S.K. Karventhan also raised the issue. Mr. Karventhan said 256 tmcft water had gone waste because the height of the dam was not raised. He said people of the area were migrating and urged the Centre to examine the issue and, if necessary, take over the administration of the dam.Mr. Chitthan said that even though the Supreme Court had cleared the proposal to raise the height of the dam, Kerala had not done so. Meanwhile, just as the MPs were engaged in highlighting the issue, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee pulled up Kharabela Swain (BJP) who wanted to raise the issue of seeking the release of Abdul Nasser Maudhany who was arrested following the Coimbatore bomb blasts in 1998.

Mr. Chatterjee took exception to the manner in which Mr. Swain proceeded and for seeking to know why his name was not being called despite being on the list. He said the MP had unauthorisedly found out the list of who was to be called and added: "you cannot dictate to the Chair. I will not allow super Speakers in the House."

Mr. Chatterjee said it was for the Chair to decide when to call whom and there was no sequence. He said some 39 MPs had given notices to raise various issues and all of them cannot be allowed to speak at the same time. He also said matters pertaining to States should normally not be raised in Parliament.