TAMIL NADU

Kerala Bill not legally binding on State: Swamy



Special Correspondent

"It can only regulate rivers within that State"

"It is a betrayal of the promise given in 1979 by then Chief Minister K. Karunakaran" "Experts declared in 2002 that storage could be raised to 142 feet immediately and 152 feet later"

CHENNAI: Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Bill, 2006, introduced in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday to nullify the Supreme Court order on Mullaperiyar dam storage level, is not legally binding on Tamil Nadu, according to Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, he termed the Bill infructuous.

It could only regulate rivers within Kerala and not inter-State rivers.

It was a betrayal of the promise given in 1979 by then Chief Minister K. Karunakaran that when the dam repair was over, the storage would be restored to 152 feet.

Based on that promise Tamil Nadu agreed to lower the level.

A committee of experts of the Central Water Commission, who inspected the dam in 2002 after the repairs were over, had declared that the storage could be raised to 142 feet immediately and 152 feet later.

"Instruct engineers"

Now it was for the Tamil Nadu Government to take the initiative as it had been empowered to raise the level.

The Chief Minister should instruct the engineers in this regard.

He criticised Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi and other State leaders for writing to the Prime Minister asking him to direct the Kerala Government to abide by the Supreme Court ruling, when the Centre had no role in the issue.

Alliance finalised

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Party have entered into an electoral understanding to contest the coming Assembly elections.

Leaders of the parties, who met here on Wednesday, decided to form a front along with a few other parties to take on the Dravidian parties, Mr. Swamy said. JP State president V.S. Chandraleka and a five-member election committee of the BJP formulated the alliance on Wednesday. Ms. Chandraleka said an amicable understanding had been reached. The constituencies would be identified soon. A few more parties would join the front.