Chennai: Reviving a more than five-decade-old
demand in the light of Kerala`s stand over Mullaperiyar Dam,
DMK on Thursday said Devikulam and Peermedu taluks, where the
reservoir is located, belonged to Tamil Nadu and urged the
Centre to take steps to restore them to the state.
"Kerala government is forcing us to press for retrieval of
Devikulam and Peermedu which historically and geographically
belonged to Tamils and Tamil Nadu," DMK chief M Karunanidhi
said in a statement amidst the row over the Mullaperiyar Dam.
While the Supreme Court appointed Committee headed by
Justice A S Anand was going into the issue, Kerala Chief
Minister Oommen Chandy was insisting on building a new dam in
place of the 116-year old reservoir besides settling the issue
through talks, he said.
Karunanidhi noted that the demand for retrieving Peermedu,
where the dam is constructed, and Devikulam, under which the
dam`s catchment area falls, was raised by DMK founder and late
chief minister C N Annadurai way back in January, 1956 on the
eve of harvest festival Pongal
Tracing the history, the 88-year old DMK patriarch said
Mullaperiyar Dam construction site of Peermedu and Devikulam
were under the rule of Tamil kings Pandyas in 12th century.
"Despite these facts, by mistake these areas were
considered under the Travancore Princely state and an
agreement was signed in 1886", he said.
Karunanidhi said the Travancore boundary was up to Aroor
and Kottarakara but the British annexed Devikulam and Peermedu
also with it and entered into an agreement
"Due to the mistake by the British Governor and the wrong
method followed during reorganisation of states on linguistic
basis, the Mullaperiyar Dam row is continuing", he said.
Hence the Centre should come forward at least now to set
right the mistakes and the injustice done to Tamil Nadu, he
said expressing hope that the Tamil Nadu Government would also
take steps in this regard.
Citing safety concerns, Kerala has been insisting on
building a new dam, a stand opposed by Tamil Nadu, which
controls the existing reservoir that irrigates five southern
districts in the state, saying it was as safe as a new one.