DMK treasurer Duraimurugan has opposed the Tamil Nadu government's move to bring water in wagons to Chennai from Jolarpettai in Vellore district. Speaking to the media hours after the announcement, Duraimurugan stated that the there will be protests in Vellore if the plan was carried out.
On Friday, Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisami who acknowledged the water crisis in Chennai, stated that the government plans to bring 10 MLD of water to Chennai by railway wagons for the next six months. The CM said that Rs.65 crore had been allocated for the purpose in a meeting held at the secretariat. Jolarpettai is over 200 kilometres away from the state capital.
In response to this declaration, Duraimurugan who is the Katpadi MLA said, "If people take this water, there will be protests in Vellore."
Sources in the DMK, however, maintained that this was not the party's viewpoint on the city's water scarcity. However President MK Stalin is yet to give an official reaction on the matter.
"Duraimurugan has said this as a concerned MLA from Vellore district," says a DMK source. "This is not the party's view but his. However, we must focus on districts outside Chennai as well, once the situation in the city is handled," he adds.
The opposition party further held protests in Chennai, demanding that the Tamil Nadu Municipal Administration and Water Supply Minister SP Velumani resign.
Chennai Central MP Dayanidhi Maran who took part in the protests said that the AIADMK failed to expand on projects initiated by former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and alleged that this was the cause for the city's water crisis.
On Friday, days after Minister SP Velumani denied reports of water scarcity and called the reports â€˜manufacturedâ€™, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami accepted that there was widespread water scarcity in Tamil Nadu. The Chief Minister said that the government is taking all possible steps to address the water scarcity in the state. As far as Chennai is concerned, he said that senior officers have been put in-charge of each zone to identify gaps in supply and ensure that water is provided in those spots.
Clarifying his stand on Keralaâ€™s offer to provide 2 MLD drinking water to Tamil Nadu in wagons, Palaniswami said that Tamil Nadu welcomes the offer. Adding that what Kerala made was a one-time offer, he said that he will soon write to the Chief Minister of Kerala requesting his government to send more water to the state.