New Delhi: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy on Friday said the state wants a new dam in Mullaperiyar
but expressed readiness for an "open minded discussion" on the
issue in view of Tamil Nadu`s opposition to the project.
Chandy also promised that Kerala would continue water
supply from Mullaperiyar dam to Tamil Nadu as it is "very much
needed" by the neighbouring state.
"We want a new dam for the safety of the people. We are
requesting Tamil Nadu to come for a settlement. If you have
any anxiety about water, we are ready to solve it," the Chief
Minister told reporters here reacting to a query on protests
in Tamil Nadu against Kerala`s move to construct a new dam in
place of the existing one in Mullaperiyar.
Chandy was in Delhi along with his ministerial colleagues
to meet Central ministers and officials to discuss issues
concerning the overall development of Kerala.
"Our slogan is water for Tamil Nadu, safety for Kerala.
We know the importance of Tamil Nadu`s demand for water. Water
from Mullaperiyar is very much needed for Tamil Nadu. We know
it. And we are not objecting to anything," the Chief Minister
told reporters here.
"So we are for an open minded discussion. We are ready to
give water to Tamil Nadu," Chandy said.
He pointed out that it is a 117-year-old dam and it was
constructed using old technology.
Tamil Nadu is opposed to the new dam in Mullaperiyar as
it fears the project would harm its interests.
Two days ago, Kerala Government had decided to submit a
detailed project report (DPR) on the proposed new dam to the
Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar on
The state would also submit three recommendations on how
to drain off the water in the existing dam before it was
According to the state government, the estimated cost of
the new dam was Rs 666 crore.