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September 16, 1999
Vajpayee, Karunanidhi sold Tamilians down the Cauvery: Jaya
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam General Secretary J Jayalalitha today said her charge that Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had "cheated" the people of the state on the Cauvery issue had now been vindicated as the state had not received its due share of water from Karnataka.
In a statement in Madras, she said the Cauvery River Water Authority set up last year was a "failure." The delta area farmers, who had planted samba crop in 120,000 hectares, have been affected due to water shortage. The crop could now be cultivated only in 6,351 hectares, she added.
She accused Vajpayee and Karunanidhi of "having enacted a drama" over the Cauvery issue last year. The authority was set up not to protect the interests of the farmers of Tamil Nadu, but those of the two leaders, she added.
Expressing surprise as to why the state government was not aware of the reduced inflow and depletion of water level at the Mettur Dam, she charged Karunanidhi with failing to secure the state's due share of Cauvery water from Karnataka.
She said as per the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal's interim award, Tamil Nadu should have received 107.64 TMC-ft of Cauvery water till August end.
Jayalalitha said: "at the time of the signing of the accord, the level at the Mettur reservoir was 46.801 TMC-ft, whereas the current level is only 24.926 TMC-ft which will not last even a fortnight for meeting the irrigation needs of the delta area."
She said she had opposed the idea of the Authority being headed by the prime minister and comprising the chief ministers of four riparian states as its members. It was now evident that the Authority had no real powers, she added.
"The authority should have met once a week or a fortnight to resolve the farmers' problems. In the last one year, it met only once," she pointed out.
Jayalalitha urged the prime minister to immediately intervene and ensure the release of adequate water from the Cauvery to save the kuruvai and samba crops in the delta area.
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