All-party delegation from Kerala to meet PM on Mullaperiyar
Thiruvananthapuram, December 7, 2011
An all-party delegation, headed by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh to put forward the state's demand for lowering the storage level of the ageing Mullaperiyar dam to 120 ft from the present 136 ft and to construct a new dam to replace the 116-year-old structure.
Briefing newspersons after a meeting of the state Cabinet, the Chief Minister said the state government was taking all steps to ensure the safety of millions of people living downstream in view of the recurring tremours in the region and high water level in the dam.
A Cabinet sub-committee had been constituted to prepare a detailed affidavit to be filed before Kerala High Court on the safety aspects before December 15, he said, adding that the controversy relating to Kerala Advocate General K P Dandapani on the Mullaperiyar issue was a closed chapter as he explained before the Cabinet that he had not made any statement in the court to the effect that there was no link between the storage level and safety of the dam.
He said the state government would also file an interim application before the Supreme Court requesting steps to reduce the water level to 120 ft.
Stating that the government was in the process of preparing ground work to meet any eventuality, Mr Chandy said Water Resources Minister P J Joseph would be sent to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee to speed up the completion of the "dam break analysis" report.
Terming the stray incidents of violence over the issue as unfortunate, the Chief Minister said Kerala always wanted to maintain cordial relations with its neighbour Tamil Nadu.
"Though Kerala was not against giving water to Tamil Nadu, it wanted to ensure the safety of its own people," he added.