Chennai, May 7 UNI | 3 months ago

Leaders of various political parties in Tamil Nadu (TN) were unanimous in welcoming the Supreme Court order allowing TN to raise the water level in Mullaiperiyar Dam from the present 136 ft to 142 ft, while declaring as unconstitutional and void, the law enacted by Kerala in 2006 to prevent raising the storage level in the Dam.

DMK President M Karunanidhi, DMDK leader and actor Vijayakanth, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, PMK Founder, Dr S Ramadoss, TNCC President B S Gnanadesikan and various leaders hailed the verdict and expressed happiness over it.

Reacting to the apex court order, Mr Karunanidhi told reporters here that he was happy with the verdict that ended the eight-year-old long wait of Tamil Nadu, which had filed a suit in April 2006, seeking to declare the law enacted by Kerala as unconstitutional.

"The court has also asked Kerala not to construct a new dam (on the ground that the existing dam is weak)", the DMK chief said, adding he did not wish to go into the contents of the order.

Earlier in the day, in what was considered as a major victory for Tamil Nadu, the court declared as uconstitutional and void, the law enacted by Kerala in 2006, constituting the Dam Safety Authority to prevent the state from increasing the storage level from the existing 136 ft to 142 ft.

Actor-politician Vijayakanth, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the state Asembly, said he was immensely happy over the apex court order, which also announced constitution of a three-member committee to ensure that the storage level was increased to 142 ft, apart from striking down the law enacted by Kerala.

Welcoming the verdict, Mr Vijayakanth, in a statement here, said it was a victory for the people of Tamil Nadu and farmers of the state.

"Though no one could deny the Tamil Nadu's rights on the Dam issue, the Tamil Nadu government should act judiciously now and the Kerala government should also extend its full support in raising the storage level to 142 ft", he added.

PMK Leader, S Ramadoss in a statement said though it was a case of delayed justice, the order has ensured the rights of Tamil Nadu on the issue.

"The verdict has gladdened the hearts of the people, especially the farmers, and it is a welcome vedict", he added.

Observing that political leaders in Kerala, who were trying to politicise the issue, might try to get a stay on today's order, Dr Ramadoss said the TN Government should be more vigilant and defeat such moves.

"The Tamil Nadu government should judiciously use the present rains and summer rains and ensure that the storage level, which stood at 111 ft as on date, was increased to 142 ft", he added.

He also said the state government, as per the 2006 verdict, should take up maintenance works in the Dam to ensure that the storage level was increased to its full capacity of 152 ft.

Dr Ramadoss also appealed to the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments to take necessary steps to ensure that ties between the two states were not affected and that the Centre should also stand by them on the issue.

MDMK leader Vaiko, who has been one of the strongest votaries of protecting Tamil Nadu's rights on the issue, said the apex court order was a major victory for justice.

Stating the Dam gave livelihood by meeting the water needs of five districts, Mr Vaiko said the court order has sounded the death knell for Kerala and protected the rights of Tamil Nadu.

"The fact that the Supreme Court Bench had passed strident remarks against Kerala for enacting a Law against the 2006 order of the three-member Bench, has given the hope of protecting India's sovereignty", he said, in a statement.

Condemning the tomorrow's strike called in Kerala against the verdict, Mr Vaiko said, even after this, if it tried to bring in a Legislation to nullify the court order, the Kerala Government should be dismissed and the Assembly kept under suspended animation.

"Though I strongly object to invoking Article 356 of the constitution, I favour dismissal of the Kerala government as I still believe in an United India", Mr Vaiko said.

Lauding the Tamil Nadu government of efficiently handling the issue in the Supreme Court, he said the government should take steps on war footing to raise the storage level to 142 ft.

"Let's welcome the Supreme court order and celebrate it as if we are celebrating the Harvest Festival of Pongal", Mr Vaiko said.

TNCC President B S Gnanadesikan described the Supreme Court's verdict as historic, that made the people of Tamil Nadu doubly happy.

In a statement here, he appealed to the people of both the states to accept the verdict, without seeing it as a victory for one and defeat for the other.

He said both the states have the responsbility to ensure that the issue was not politicised, thereby inciting the sentiments of the people.

BJP Tamil Nadu President Pon Radhakrishnan, Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi President Thol Thirumavalavan, Dravidar Kazhagam President K Veeramani, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam Vice-President Kunangudi R M Hanifa also hailed the Supreme Court order.

(Posted on 08-05-2014)