‘Meke­datu dam will af­fect 5 cr. peo­ple'

They’ll be de­prived of wa­ter: Vaiko

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Staff Re­porter

MDMK gen­eral sec­re­tary Vaiko on Satur­day claimed that around five crore peo­ple would be ad­versely af­fected and de­prived of ac­cess to drink­ing wa­ter, and more than 25 lakh acres of land would not have the means of ir­ri­ga­tion, if the Meke­datu dam project be­came a re­al­ity.

Ad­dress­ing re­porters on the side­lines of a party meet­ing, he said the BJPled Cen­tral gov­ern­ment had given per­mis­sion to Kar­nataka to pre­pare a De­tailed Project Re­port for the dam with the aim of gar­ner­ing votes.

The Supreme Court may in­ter­vene in the mat­ter. But the Kar­nataka gov­ern­ment may not abide by the or­der if it went against its stance, he said.

The MDMK chief said he had also ex­pressed his op­po­si­tion to the Dam Safety Bill, per­ceived by some as a move that would take away the power of the State gov­ern­ment over dam in­fra­struc­ture. He said the Bill was dropped by the erst­while Man­mo­han Singh-led UPA gov­ern­ment, but had now been re­vived by the cur­rent dis­pen­sa­tion.

Speak­ing about the pro­ceed­ings at the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal on the Ster­lite issue, he said, “Ster­lite has been say­ing that the protests [ear­lier this year] were against the expansion plans and not the ex­ist­ing plant [in Thoothukudi]. How­ever, the protests were for the clo­sure of the ex­ist­ing unit as well.”

The MDMK leader said the NGT did not have ju­ris­dic­tion to de­cide on the Ster­lite issue. He added that he would ap­proach the Supreme Court if he was not im­pleaded as a party in the case dur­ing the NGT hear­ing on Mon­day.

The BJP gave per­mis­sion for draft­ing a DPR with the aim of gar­ner­ing votes

See­ing red: Over 25 lakh acres will not have the means of ir­ri­ga­tion if the project be­comes a re­al­ity, Vaiko said.

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