‘Mekedatu dam will affect 5 cr. people'
They’ll be deprived of water: Vaiko
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.