Palar hearing must be expedited, says PMK

Senior Reporter

“Andhra Pradesh should not conduct foundation laying ceremony”

The dam, if allowed to be built, will deny Tamil Nadu its share of water

In the last two years, Tamil Nadu realised only 1-1.5 tmc from Palar

NATRAMPALLI: The Supreme Court must expedite the hearing on the Palar issue and stop Andhra Pradesh from going ahead with construction of a dam across the river at Korangumalai near Ganeshapuram, Pattali Makkal Katchi president G.K. Mani said on Monday.

Leading an agitation at Gandhi Nagar, bordering Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, near here, he said the Tamil Nadu Government and the PMK had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the construction of the dam. The dam, if built, would deny Tamil Nadu its share of water.

“Bring more pressure on Centre”

Mr. Mani said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. Rajasekara Reddy had announced that he would take part in the ceremony to lay the foundation on December 6. “It is wrong on the part of Andhra Pradesh to go ahead with the ceremony when the case is pending in court.”

Tamil Nadu should exert more pressure on the Centre to stop Andhra Pradesh from going ahead with its plan.

In the last two years, he said, Tamil Nadu realised only one-1.5 tmc from the Palar, that too, after good rain. But if the dam was constructed, most parts of Tamil Nadu, including Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram and parts of South Chennai, would not receive the minimal quantum. Furthermore, hundreds of industrial units located along the riverbank would be forced to shut down, causing unemployment.

Even some of the cross-border river pacts were successful. When Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister, India signed a pact with Pakistan to share Ganga water. Likewise, a pact was signed when Deve Gowda was Prime Minister for sharing river water with Bangladesh. It was a shame that we were unable to solve the Palar issue involving two neighbouring States, he said.

“Checkdams galore”

Karnataka had already constructed three checkdams across the Palar, and Andhra Pradesh had constructed 23. So, the Tamil Nadu Government must get a stay on the ceremony, he said.

Mr. Mani said the PMK had planned to enter Andhra Pradesh to protest. But the Tamil Nadu police did not allow the workers to do so. “The party did not want to embarrass the State Government,” he said.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr. Mani was hopeful of the Supreme Court ruling in favour of Tamil Nadu. More than 300 PMK workers took part in the protest. Over 150 policemen were deployed.

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