Chennai, Jan 12 (TruthDive): DMK leader and former chief minister M Karunanidhi who is known for bringing twists and making strange remarks on burning issues, today made his contribution to ongoing row over the Mullai Periyar dam-by stating that the structure and its catchment areas be made a part of the state.
The 116-year-old dam is located in Kerala’s Idukki district but is controlled by Tamil Nadu which uses its waters to irrigate its southern districts under a decades-old agreement. Maintaining that these areas were wrongly annexed to the State of Travancore, now a part of Kerala, by the British, Mr Karunanidhi said that the Peermedu and Devikulam areas in Idukki district should be given to Tamil Nadu.
The DMK leader also blamed the wrong approach during reorganisation of states along linguistic lines, for the peculiar situation it had created in the case of the dam.
Mr Karunanidhi also accused Kerala of not honouring a 2006 Supreme Court order which had directed the water level at the dam to be increased to 142 feet from the existing 136 feet. After the order, Kerala had enacted a law which no longer made it obligatory for the state to raise the water level.
Earlier, Mr.Karunanidhi criticised Jayalalithaa after she had announced to rebuild a memorial for Penny Cuick, the engineer who had built the Mullai Periyar Dam. “As there was nothing to announce yesterday (Monday), a decision on memorial for Penny Cuick was announced by the chief minister,” he said.
Jayalalitha praised the army engineer and said that he sold his property and completed the project amidst much hardship and difficulty. She further said that he used lime kurki and big stones to build the dam which has still kept the dam strong and given it the strength to hold up to tremors. The “dam is strong even today,” said Jayalalithaa.