All-party meet wants new dam at Mullaperiyar

All party meet here on Wednesday urged the Centre to intervene and resolve the Mullaperiyar dam issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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.


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