Karunanidhi has spelt the five-decade old demand by Tamil Nadu to hand over Devikulam and Peermedu taluks, where the reservoir is located to Tamil Nadu. He also said that the Centre needs to take immediate steps towards the same.
In a statement, he said, “Kerala government is forcing us to press for retrieval of Devikulam and Peermedu which historically and geographically belonged to Tamils and Tamil Nadu.”
The Kerala side has been pressing for the building of a new dam as a replacement for the existing dam that is 116-years-old. All for settling the issue through cordial talks, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the security of Keralites was primary on his mind and that water-sharing with the neighbouring Tamil Nadu will continue as per the decades-old agreement.
Karunanidhi also said that the demand for retrieving Peermedu, where the dam is constructed, and Devikulam, under which the dam's catchment area falls was initially made by DMK founder and late Chief Minister C N Annadurai way back in Jan 1956 on the eve of the harvest festival, Pongal.
Quoting the historical records, Karunaniddhi said that the Mullaperiyar Dam construction site of Peermedu and Devikulam were under the rule of Tamil kings Pandyas in 12th century. He added, “Despite these facts, by mistake these areas were considered under the Travancore Princely state and an agreement was signed in 1886.”
With the matter before the Supreme Court at the moment, the empowered committee headed by Justice A S Anand is ascertaining how best to resolve the crisis amicably.