Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that Kerala was not against giving water from Mullaperiyar to Tamil Nadu. It was willing to give an assurance to that effect before any forum.

Talking to the media after a meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said that Kerala was also ready to bear the cost of construction of the new dam to replace the existing Mullaperiyar dam. The recurring tremours in Idukki district was of cause of much anxiety for Kerala.

The Chief Minister said that the Cabinet had received and considered the report of the official team on Mullaperiyar and recurring tremours in Idukki district. It had also discussed the farmers’ suicides in Wayanad district and the situation in the agriculture sector across the State. It would meet again this evening to discuss both the issues after the all party meeting on Mullaperiyar and the State Level Bankers' Committee meeting this afternoon.

Liquor policy

Mr. Chandy said that the government had never adopted a policy that encouraged consumption of liquor. None of its policy decisions were aimed at expanding the sales network for liquor. The State Beverages Corporation had not opened any new outlet after the present government came to power. The three-star hotels that were given new licences were ones which had started construction during the rule of the previous government.

The Chief Minister recalled that the he had closed down 1661 toddy shop when he was the Chief Minister before. Sale of arrack was banned when A. K. Antony was the Chief Minister.

Mr. Chandy said that he did not have the details of the recommendations made by the sub-committee of the UDF regarding liquor policy. The matter would come to the Cabinet only after the UDF liaison committee considered the matter.

Plan size

Regarding the concern expressed by the KPCC whether the outlay proposed for the 12th Five Year Plan was feasible, the Chief Minister said that the figure of Rs. 105000 crore was arrived at on a clear understanding of fundamentals. The draft Plan was one placed before all for discussions and the debate could continue.