T.N. Govt. cannot compromise farmers’ rights, says OPS

While the relationship between Tamil Nadu and Kerala is important, the Tamil Nadu Government cannot compromise the rights of the farmers’ in any manner, said AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, he said the DMK, after assuming power, had let down the farmers, especially on the Mullaperiyar reservoir row, as a result of which the five southern districts of Tamil Nadu may soon turn into a desert.

According to him, when Jayalalithaa was the Chief Minister, the water in the dam was stored at 142 feet in 2014, 2015 and 2018. “The relationship with Kerala was cordial and good even then…” he said.

Allowing the Kerala Government to release water from the Mullaperiyar a week ago was a “historic blunder” by the DMK Government [Tamil Nadu has maintained that it, not Kerala, had released the water]. The rights of the farmers have gone with the wind. The Supreme Court had clearly stated that the water shall be stored up to 142 feet, he said.

Mr. Panneerselvam said Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan, misleading the people, had justified the release of water, attributing it to the “rule curve” theory. The people should be vigilant “about the designs and agenda” of the DMK Government.

As a PWD Minister and as Deputy Chief Minister in the past, Mr. Panneerselvam said he had visited the dam and released water for irrigation with the Theni Collector, which has been the traditional practice for years. By posing questions, Mr. Duraimurugan was trying to divert attention from the issue.

The question of constructing a new dam by the Kerala Government can be decided only by the Supreme Court and the Union government, he said.

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