Thiruvananthapuram: Expressing hope that the December 16 official level talks on the Mullaperiyar issue would be a meaningful exercise, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday assured his Tamil Nadu counterpart that his government was "totally committed" to ensure peace in the dam area and the safety of the existing structure.
"We should make use of the forum for a meaningful
exchange of ideas and appreciation of each other`s position to
find a way forward," he said in a letter to Jayalalithaa.
"Police presence in the area has been strengthened and we
are confident of protecting the dam and ensuring peace in the
area," Chandy said.
He, however, said the scale of the catastrophe in the
event of collapse of the "existing dam" was unimaginable and
it would make both sides "eternally guilty."
Chandy said Tamil Nadu`s assertion that the possibility
of tremors of even medium magnitude did not exist in the dam
site was contrary to facts.
Holding that construction of a new dam was the only
solution that would guarantee water to Tamil Nadu and safety
to Kerala, he said "rationally, frequent tremors have to be
taken as nature`s warning and Mullaperiyar dam, you will
agree, will not withstand an earthquake of larger magnitude".
Chandy had earlier written to Jayalalithaa on December 1,
appealing to her to take urgent steps to reduce the water
level in the dam to 120 feet from the present 136.5 feet in
view of the "threat" posed by the structure to millions of
people living downstream.