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PM arrives in Chennai, Jayalalithaa raises Mullaperiyar

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sun, Dec 25, 2011 16:50 hrs

Chennai, Dec 25 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Sunday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Raj Bhavan here and submitted a memorandum reiterating her earlier requests to him including advising Kerala to abide by the apex court's order on the Mullaperiyar Dam row.

The other demands included ensuring safety of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay, extending financial assistance to the state, exempting the state from the National Food Security Bill and allocation of coal supplies to the planned power projects, among others.

However, the memorandum was silent on the ongoing row over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from Chennai, where the two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors being built by Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) have been stalled following protests by local villagers.

Manmohan Singh's comments during his recent Russian visit that the first reactor at Kundankulam would be made operational in two weeks time did not go down well with Jayalalithaa.

In his first trip to Tamil Nadu after the AIADMK took power in May, Manmohan Singh arrived here Sunday evening on a two-day visit.

He was accorded a warm reception at the airport by Governor K. Rosaiah, Jayalalithaa, her cabinet colleagues, union ministers G.K.Vasan and M.K.Alagiri and leaders of the Congress and DMK parties.

At her meeting with the prime minister, Jayalalithaa requested him to advise Kerala to honour the Supreme Court order on raising the water level initially from 136 feet to 142 feet and not to venture upon a new dam.

She also asked him to tell Kerala to cooperate with Tamil Nadu to carry out dam strengthening activities and remove encroachments on the leased area.

The prime minister was also asked to deploy the Central Industrial Security Force at the dam site and to order the National Disaster Management Authority to withdraw the notification for a team of experts to formulate a contingency response plan for the dam.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi has said he too will meet Manmohan Singh to discuss the Mullaperiyar issue. He will take up the issue of attacks on Tamils in Kerala.

Stating that her government inherited a 'fragile financial system' with an 'unsustainable revenue deficit of over Rs.3,000 crores and an enormous debt burden of over Rs.1 lakh crores', Jayalalithaa requested the central government for additional financial support under specific programmes like Backward Regions Grant (BRG) or any other developmental schemes meant for infrastructure development.

She sought assistance similar to the special package extended to the West Bengal government.

Jayalalithaa also asked for the immediate release of Rs.228 crore towards interest relief on National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) and debt waiver relief of Rs.212 crore.

The memorandum also urged the central government to release Rs.3,861.82 crore as the balance compensation on the reduction of central sales tax by one percent.

Citing the delay in the commissioning of the 2,000 MW atomic power project in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district and Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd's 500 MW project, Jayalalithaa asked for additional allocation of 1,000 MW from the central pool.

The chief minister also sought 75 percent power from the two joint sector power projects under construction and allocation of long term coal supplies to three thermal power projects planned in the state.

Jayalalithaa sought a special package for the financial revival of power utilities.

During his trip, Manmohan Singh will Monday participate in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of mathematician S. Ramanujan organised by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

He will then leave for Karaikudi in Sivaganga district to take part in a function at Alagappa University and inaugurate the 100th eye hospital of Vasan Healthcare Group. He returns to New Delhi late Monday.




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