VCK MP Thirumavalavan observes fast

The Mullaperiyar dam issue continued to generate a lot of heat here with Tamil Nadu and Kerala MPs raising the issue inside and outside Parliament on Wednesday seeking the immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the issue amicably.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) MP Thol. Thirumavalavan, who unsuccessfully tried to raise the issue in the Lok Sabha in the morning, sat on a day-long fast near the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex, asking the Kerala government not to make “false propaganda” on the dam's safety. He also wanted the Centre to intervene to raise the dam level to 142 ft. from the present 136 feet. He was greeted by MPs from the CPI, the DMK and the Muslim League.

Congress MP from Kerala and Union Minister of State for Power, K.C. Venugopal, told The Hindu that the Centre was monitoring the situation in the two States on a day-to-day basis and regretted that some violent incidents were reported from both the States. He hoped the issue would be settled amicably as the Centre had convened a meeting of representatives of the two States next week.

Kerala Congress (M) Lok Sabha member Jose K. Mani, seeking the Centre's intervention on the issue, said the time had come for everyone to stand by the decision of the Kerala government in the spirit of give and take. The State government's decision to plead for a new dam was prudent and workable in the larger interest of the people living downstream of the existing dam site and of the bordering districts of Tamil Nadu whose sustenance depended on the continued supply of Mullaperiyar waters, he said.

Informed sources here said an all-party delegation from Kerala, consisting of Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, might visit the capital in the next few days to apprise Dr. Singh of the seriousness of the issue and to press the need for the urgent clearance of the Centre for constructing a new dam after decommissioning the existing one.

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