Chandy meets TN Fin Min on Mullaperiyar dam row

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Tamil Nadu Finance Minister and offered that his state was ready to pass a legislation promising to give water to its neighbour.

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2011, 20:51 PM IST

Bangalore: Amid the raging Mullaperiyar dam row, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday met Tamil Nadu
Finance Minister O Panneerselvam and offered that his state
was ready to pass a legislation promising to give water to its
neighbour.

Kerala was prepared to pass a legislation in the assembly
and give it in writing in Supreme Court that it would give
water to Tamil Nadu, Chandy said after the first interaction
between the leadership of two states after the controversy
broke out.

"I expressed the view of Kerala to him (Panneerselvam).
First time after this controvery we are meeting any leader
from Tamil Nadu...first time," he said and asserted that it`s
not a water issue.

Chandy and Panneerselvam were here to attend the meeting
convened by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with Chief
Ministers of south zone states and union territories and CEOs
of public sector banks and financial institutions.

Chandy said he clearly expressed to Panneerselvam that
"our approach has been `water for Tamil Nadu, safety for
Kerala`. It`s not a water issue at all."

He said Kerala knows the importance of Mullaperiyar water
to Tamil Nadu, where five districts depend on it. "It`s our
cause also. Water for Tamil Nadu is our issue also", he said,
noting that Kerala gets fruits and vegetables from the
neighbouring state.

"We want to settle Mullaperiyar issue. We have to take
care of the people downstream", Chandy said,adding, the dam is
more than 115 years old and built with old technology.
"People are in a panic situation. We have to take care of the
safety of the people," Chandy said.

He said Kerala wants cordial relations with Tamil Nadu as
both states have close connections. Tamil people were
completely safe in his state. "Some media are creating panic
situation (rumours about attaks on Tamils in Kerala)".

Chandy said Panneerselvam told him that he would convey
Kerala`s feelings to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

PTI