Tamil Nadu Minister faces people's ire
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The talks between the Chief Ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the Mullaperiyar issue, mediated by the Centre, will be held in New Delhi on November 29.
Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan received a fax message fixing the date from Union Minister for Water Resources Saifudin Soz here on Thursday. The talks will begin at 10.30 a.m.
The talks are being held on the basis of a Supreme Court directive that the States should settle their water disputes through talks.
Kerala will be pressing for rebuilding of the dam during the discussions.
Staff Reporter writes from Kottayam:
Tamil Nadu Minister for Public Works Durai Murugan on Thursday visited the Mullaperiyar dam. His visit comes against the backdrop of the situation arising out of the rising water level in the reservoir.
Speaking to mediapersons, Mr. Durai Murugan said the Tamil Nadu Government was expecting an amicable solution to the Mullaperiyar issue and the State was only seeking legal justice on the issue.
The Minister said he was not entitled to comment on the security threat to the dam as he was not an expert. Mr. Durai Murugan who arrived at the boat-landing strip at Thekkady was confronted by scores of people from Vandiperiyar and nearby areas who have been living under constant threat on account of the safety aspect ever since the water level crossed the 136-foot mark in the reservoir. As they shouted `go back' at the Minister, his own followers who accompanied him shouted back in favour of their leader. The scene was soon brought under control by the police. The scene was, in fact, an extension of an earlier incident in which the film actor Devan had called upon some protesters to heed to the demands of Tamil Nadu. His statement enraged the protesters. It was at this juncture that the Minister arrived.
Meanwhile, the water level in the reservoir continued to rise and reached 138.3ft by 5 p.m. on Thursday.