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TN govt tags past incidents to turn tables on DMK over dam row

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

Stoutly defending the government on the issue of discharge of excess water from Chembarambakkam dam, which reportedly inundated vast areas in heavy rains last year, AIADMK today sought to turn the tables on DMK in the Assembly, charging them with inaction on incidents during their regime.

During the debate on the Governor's address, PWD Minister O Panneerselvam said relief work for unseasonal rains in 2008 during DMK regime was undertaken only after 11 days.

"For rains since March 10, 2008 deliberations happened on March 21 and only the following day did ministers and officials undertake relief work," he said replying to DMK MLA Anbazagan.

The DMK member had alleged that surplus waters from Chembarambakkam dam was not released at the appropriate time.

"Stalin (DMK treasurer) described (in a protest meeting) only such action as work on war footing," he said. "If work on war footing means deliberations after 11 days, let the people of Tamil Nadu themselves decide."

He then referred to DMK's recent claims of quick action by party chief and then Chief Minister Karunanidhi to plug breaches in the Puzhal lake in 1999.

Citing a media report, he said, "It is clear that the breach occured as no action was taken for a month when there was seepage."

Also, Karunanidhi had not answered opposition's doubts over the issue then and had said these queries could be replied to only after an inquiry.

"Karunanidhi did not hold any inquiry over the issue and till today no reason for the lake breach has been made known. At least now Karunandihi and Stalin should tell us why action over a small seepage was not taken for a month which led to a big breach," Panneerselvam said.

On release of waters from Chembarambakkam reservoir, he said it was done in a proper, staggered fashion as per flood water regulatory rules after warning people on the banks of river Adyar.

From December 1 morning, when the level was capped at 22.08 feet, inflow began increasing. This being the case 10,000 cubic feet per second of water was released by 10 AM, which was subsequently raised to 12,000 feet by noon and to 29,000 cusecs by 6.00 PM.

The same level was maintained till 3 PM the following day and later the water released was decreased in a phased manner.

"I appeal to the opposition to not level false charges against the government for political reasons over release of water from Chembarambakkam even after my explanation, "he said.

On December 13, government had termed as "malicious" reports that the Chennai floods were a result of "failure" in managing water release from dams and said the deluge was a "rarest of rare natural calamity" and people had been alerted about it.

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First Published: Fri, January 22 2016. 00:42 IST