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Declare inter-State rivers as national rivers: Vaiko

Special Correspondent



CONDEMNATION: MDMK general secretary Vaiko addressing party members at a demonstration in Vellore on Wednesday. — Photo D. Gopalakrishnan

VELLORE: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko has urged the Centre to declare inter-State rivers as national rivers to prevent upper riparian States from stopping the flow of water to lower riparian States by building dams.

Mr. Vaiko was speaking after a demonstration organised here on Wednesday by the MDMK to condemn the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Government for "failing" to prevent Andhra Pradesh from constructing a dam across the Palar at Kuppam.

The agreement signed by riparian states in 1892 had included the Palar in Schedule-A list of inter-State rivers. This prevented construction of a dam across the Palar. He accused the then Karunanidhi government of having betrayed Tamil Nadu's interests by not taking steps to prevent the construction of dams across the Cauvery in Hemavathi and Kabini.

Pooh-poohing Public Works Department Minister Durai Murugan's statement that the State Government would file a fresh petition in the Supreme Court in the event of Andhra Pradesh going ahead with the dam construction, Mr. Vaiko said the previous AIADMK regime had filed a petition in the apex court seeking a direction to Andhra Pradesh to give up the dam proposal. "The petition is pending before the court, and it is the duty of the Tamil Nadu Government to pursue the same."

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