Chennai to get 8 tmc ft water from Krishna river in AP: TN CM

Kancheepuram (TN): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday said his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y S Jaganmohan Reddy has agreed to release eight tmc ft of water from Krishna river following a plea.

One tmcft of water denotes one thousand million cubic feet.

The release of water would benefit the parched city of Chennai and the water was expected to be received 'soon,' the chief minister said.

"Let me share the happy news that when the water reaches here, the people of Chennai will receive uninterrupted and safe drinking water," he told reporters here and thanked Reddy for acceding to Tamil Nadu's request.

On Friday, state Ministers SP Velumani and D Jayakumar had met Reddy in Vijayawada and handed over a letter to him on behalf of Palaniswami requesting immediate release of water from Krishna river through the Telugu Ganga canal to overcome the grave drinking water scarcity in the city.

Velumani had on Friday said Andhra Pradesh could not earlier release water as there was a 'dearth of storage.'

The situation was favourable now due to good inflow into Srisailam dam, he had said.

On Friday, Reddy's office had said he had directed the Water Resources Department authorities to ensure water release immediately.

As per the agreement between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the former normally releases at least two tmcft of water to meet Chennai's drinking water needs, official sources had said in Vijayawada.

On the AIADMK's loss in the August 5 Parliamentary election in Vellore, Palaniswami said his party considered it more of a "win" by virtue of leading in three of the six Assembly seats covered under the constituency.

He said though DMK chief MK Stalin had earlier exuded confidence that his party would win with a margin running into "lakhs" the final difference was only 8,141 votes.

DMK's Kathir Anand had defeated AIADMK ally AC Shanmugam of Puthiya Needhi Katchi in the election held on August 5, with the counting of votes taken up on Friday.

Shanmugam had contested on the AIADMK's Two Leaves symbol.

Though polling in Vellore was originally scheduled on April 18 along with the rest of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in the state, it was later rescinded following searches by the income tax sleuths leading to unearthing of cash allegedly meant to bribe voters.

The DMK-led alliance had swept the April 18 elections by winning 37 of the 38 seats where polls were held, with the ruling AIADMK pocketing the lone Theni segment.

Asked if issues like Centre scrapping Triple Talaq and the "Kashmir issue," an oblique reference to the removal of Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status, hurt AIADMK's prospects in Vellore, Palaniswami shot back saying the voting process was a "secret."

Among the six Assembly constituencies in Vellore, Ambur and Vaniyambadi have a sizeable Muslim population.

"When the voting process is such a secret affair, how can we know if the minorities or majorities voted (for a particular party). One cannot respond to questions based on assumptions," he said.

Tamil Nadu was a peaceful state and "beyond" caste and religion and there was no politics being done over these, he said.

"We view all sections of people as one," Palaniswami added.

To a question, he said local body elections would be held soon.

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