All-party meet wants new dam at Mullaperiyar
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 23:01
Thiruvananthapuram: Taking a serious view of recurrence of tremors in the vicinity of Mullaperiyar dam and the grave consequences if the dam bursts, an all party meet here on Wednesday urged the Centre to intervene and resolve the vexed issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The meeting convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy requested Tamil Nadu to co-operate with the state for building a new dam in place of the 116-year old structure and also de-commission the existing dam.

As a temporary step, the meeting wanted to bring down the storage level to 120 feet from 136 feet, considering its safety aspects.

Water Resources Minister P J Joseph and Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said they would leave for Delhi to apprise leaders at the Centre about the state's anxiety and other aspects of the Mullaperiyar dam.

"However, parties at the meet were clear that lowering the storage level is only a temporary measure and that the only permanent solution is construction of a new dam," Joseph told reporters after the meeting.

Seeking Tamil Nadu's cooperation in resolving the issue, Joseph said Kerala was ready to hold talks with that state.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, former Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran were among those who attended the meeting.

Earlier, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Kerala's prime concern was safety of its people and that the state was ready to bear the entire cost of the new dam.

He also made it clear Tamil Nadu would continue to get the same quantity of water which it was now getting,even after the new dam was built.

He said Kerala's slogan on Mullaperiyar was 'Water for Tamil Nadu and Safety for Kerala'.

The Mullaperiyar issue again came into focus recently after several minor tremors occurred in the area. A study by IIT Roorkie engineers pointed out that the dam would collapse if an earthquake of 6.4 Richter scale struck it.


First Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 23:01

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