Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has alleged that certain vested interests are trying to portray the Mullaperiyar dam issue as an inter-State dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu with a view to sidelining its human angle.

Mr. Chandy was addressing his eighth district-level mass contact programme at the St. Stephen's church ground here on Monday.

He said the Kerala government was for an amicable solution to the issue at the earliest. The threat to the safety of the dam has created a scare among the people of Kerala. He expressed the hope that the people of Tamil Nadu and their government are aware of the need to ensure the safety of millions of people residing downstream of the dam.

The Chief Minister said Kerala was united in its resolution to ensure the safety of the dam. No one in Kerala has opposed the government's stance that the supply of water to Tamil Nadu should continue as of now. He reiterated his government's stance to provide adequate supply of water to Tamil Nadu and ensure the safety of the people of Kerala. He hoped that Tamil Nadu would take the Kerala people's deep concern over the safety of the old dam in all its seriousness.

He said the people of Kerala had been maintaining self-restraint in the Mullaperiyar issue even though they were facing provocations from certain quarters.

Policy changes

The Chief Minister said his ongoing mass contact programme had proved to be a big success and the huge people's participation in it was a testimony to it. United efforts by people's representatives, government employees, and the people have made the programme a big success, he said adding that unity could yield wonderful results.

Mr. Chandy said it was not fair to blame employees alone for the problems attached to various government departments and redressal of public grievances. There would be a review of the various policies concerning the people on the basis of the mass contact programmes in all 14 districts.

K. Sivadasan Nair, MLA, presided over the inaugural function. Adoor Prakash, Health Minister; P.J. Kurien, Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha; Anto Antony, MP; Mathew T. Thomas and Raju Abraham, MLAs; Babu George, district panchayat president; and P. Venugopal, District Collector, spoke.