Velumani hits back at M K Stalin over water crisis

Coimbatore: Hitting back at the DMK chief M K Stalin for his sharp criticism of the AIADMK Government's handling of the water crisis in Tamil Nadu, Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani said the opposition too had a part in creating this crisis and a duty to do its bit for helping to solve it.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, Velumani argued that the DMK leadership should get Karnataka, ruled by DMK's allies, to release Cauvery water. "The Kerala government too is an alliance partner for the DMK and they are threatening to build dam in their state. The opposition party must take steps to stop this", the minister said.

Apart from slamming the AIADMK government for its handling of the water crisis, Stalin has demanded the resignation of Velumani on moral grounds and said CM Palaniswami should sack the minister if he failed to quit voluntarily.

Countering, the minister listed out the steps taken by the government to deal with the water crisis in the state and particularly in Chennai, such as making alternate arrangements for reaching potable water to the people. "About 65 MLD (million litres per day) of water is brought from farm wells near Poondi for Chennai. Thirty MLD is being drawn from the quarries in Sikkarayapuram from February and 10 MLD will be taken from quarries in Erumaiyur at a cost of Rs 19 crore from July", said Velumani, adding that Perumbakkam, Ayanambakkam and Retteri lakes will supply another 30 MLD after treatment and three MLD will be got from SIPCOT's share.

The minister also made a fervent appeal to the people to use water judiciously and ensure there is no wastage. Lamenting that the crisis was being politicised, he said the government would hold discussions with the hotel industry on Sunday. "We are acting swiftly and competently to deal with this crisis", he said.

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