Kerala

New dam the only solution, says CM

The construction of a new dam is the only solution to the inter-State dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the Mullaperiyar issue, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

Legal options

Addressing the media after a meeting of the State Cabinet here on Wednesday, he said the State government would explore legal options and seek the Centre’s intervention to address concerns over the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam, without affecting ties with the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Leased

“The dam was leased to Tamil Nadu for 999 years under an agreement between the two States.

How can anyone guarantee that the dam will last that long? A new dam is inevitable.”

Mr. Chandy said the issue of dam safety would be taken up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the State on December 15. Ministers from Kerala would also raise the issue during talks with Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati in New Delhi this week.

“The government is deeply concerned about the safety of the dam. We understand that five districts in Tamil Nadu are dependent on the water from the reservoir for their drinking and irrigation needs. Kerala is willing to let Tamil Nadu use the water.

Our only demand is to ensure the safety of the people in Kerala.”

He said abnormally heavy rain like that experienced by Chennai recently could jeopardise the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam. Kerala maintains that the 120-year-old Mullaperiyar dam has outlived its safe-life period and had become structurally unsafe.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 11:35:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/new-dam-the-only-solution-says-cm/article7968582.ece

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