TAMIL NADU

CRA meet unnecessary, Ramadoss tells PM

Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI Oct. 5. A Cauvery River Authority meet at this juncture is unnecessary and unwarranted, the PMK founder, S. Ramadoss, said today.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, he said it was imperative that Tamil Nadu continue to get the 0.8 tmcft water at least till the end of the month.

``There is no urgency to convene the Cauvery River Authority before October 24. Even the Cauvery Monitoring Committee has said the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu is in the grip of a serious drought. Already kuruvai harvest is lost for the delta farmers and the samba crop will be in danger if water is not released now as per the Supreme Court order, at least till October-end.''

The CPI(M) State secretary, N.Varadarajan, has condemned the Karnataka Government decision not to release water. The Union Government and the Congress high command should pressure it to release water, he said.

The CPI today condemned the Karnataka Government for its ``sustained refusal'' to release 9,000 cusecs.

The State secretary, R. Nallakannu, said it was regrettable that Karnataka continued to violate the Supreme Court directive. This had led to a feeling among the people here that there was nothing wrong in stopping power from Neyveli when various organisations in Karnataka had been preventing the due share of Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu. Those interested in the country's unity should prevail upon Karnataka and the Centre to release water.

`Centre failed in its duty'

The MDMK presidium chairman, L. Ganesan, has said the party will try to persuade the Prime Minister to direct Karnataka to release Cauvery water.

Answering questions after a meeting of party's district secretaries, members of the political advisory committee and headquarters office-bearers today, he said the present situation arose because the Union Government failed in its duty as an arbitrator and had remained a ``sorry spectator'' for decades.

Karnataka's action amounted to questioning the Supreme Court and the executive should and initiate appropriate action against it. This did not mean that the MDMK wanted the Centre to dismiss it. There were many other ways to pressure a State government, he said.

Asked if the party MPs would quit in protest, he wondered if that would lead to a solution.

The party would hold demonstrations in district and taluk headquarters on October 18 to protest the ``anti-people policies'' of the Jayalalithaa Government.

The meet also condemned the increase in the price of rice supplied through the public distribution system and the move to increase electricity tariff and withdraw free power supply for farmers.

Our Thanjavur Staff Reporter reports:

The Centre, without shirking its responsibility, should see that Karnataka implemented the Supreme Court order for release of 9,000 cusecs, the Agriculture Minister, R. Jeevanandam, said today.

Declaring open 114 new buildings in 19 panchayats in the Thirupanandal panchayat union, he said the Centre had failed to protect the rights of Tamil Nadu and it should now force Karnataka to comply with the court order.

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