Leader of Opposition Ommen Chandy has said that a solution to the Mullapperiyar dam issue lay in a compromise between the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
He was addressing the public in connection with the agitation, launched for the decommissioning of the century-old dam, completing 1000 days on Saturday.
Mr Chandy said that while water is released to Tamil Nadu, the safety of the people living in the downstream portions of the dam should also be considered.
Congratulating the Mullaperiyar Samara Samithy for taking up a serious issue in a peaceful manner, he said that the 1000 days of peaceful agitation set a precedent. It was for the first time he saw an agitation that was held in the most peaceful manner though the issue affected ``nearly forty thousand people living in nearly four districts. The solution to the issue was in the interest of both the State and Central governments, and he was keen to take up the issue with the Central government.
Mr. Chandy said that that the Central clearance for survey on the new dam at Mullaperiyar was the result of the cooperative attitude of the Kerala Government and the Centre and it did not mean that the new dam would come up all on a sudden. ``It was a technical clearance and what is required is a new dam in place of the century-old dam at Mullaperiyar’,’ Mr Chandy said without mentioning a time-frame for the construction of the new dam.
The Mullaperiyar Samara Samithy leaders said that the strike would continue till a solution the problem was found.
They said that they were happy with the support of different political parties. “We are not against giving water to Tamil Nadu but we are concerned about the safety of people living on the downstream side,’’ Mr C. P. Roy, the chairman of the Samithy said while welcoming the audience.
The function was attended by hundreds of people living in the nearby areas.