Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the model of a joint water supply and regulation management system that already exists between Kerala and Tamil Nadu for sharing of water from the Parambikulam-Aliyar and Shirvani reservoirs will be acceptable for the proposed new dam to replace the Mullaperiyar dam.
Inaugurating the mass contact programme here on Thursday, Mr. Chandy said that the discussion initiated by the Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee (EC) on the State’s demand for the new dam was itself recognition to the State’s proposal. The topics hitherto prominently discussed as regards the Mullaperiyar dam were issues concerning the dam’s safety and maintenance; he said adding that the State’s proposal for the new dam had no takers. The prospects of the new dam had now emerged in the discussion of the recent meeting of the EC, he said terming the new development as an acknowledgment of the State’s proposal.
Attributing this achievement to the unity shown by the entire State on the Mullaperiyar dam issue, Mr. Chandy said that the State had been consistent in its stand that emphasised its concern about safety of the people of Kerala and about water requirement of Tamil Nadu.
Reiterating that there would be no compromise on the safety of the people in the State, he also said that Kerala also wanted no fissure to appear in its cordial relationship with Tamil Nadu over the issue.
Announcing that the State government would submit on January 6 its response to the EC’s directive to the two States to give their respective views on the possibility of jointly managing a new dam, the Chief Minister said that the joint management system already in place in sharing water in the Parambikulam-Aliyar and Shirvani reservoirs could be a model for the new dam. “We have no problem with having a Kerala-Tamil Nadu joint mechanism for supply of water as such a model is already there,” he said adding that the only addition that the State would propose was the involvement of the Central government in the joint management mechanism for the new dam.
Mr. Chandy also said that the State had no hidden agenda on the Mullaperiyar dam issue. The State’s stand on the issue had always been rational and not emotional or selfish, he said pointing out that the State was also sensitive to Tamil Nadu’s water requirement. “We have realised the fact that five districts of Tamil Nadu totally depended on the Mullaperiyar dam for their water requirement,” he said adding that the State had no intention to cut down the quantity of water that Tamil Nadu was receiving from the dam. He also exuded the hope that there would be a solution to the concerns of the State without any delay.