Kerala chief minister Chandy to meet Modi on Mullaperiyar issue
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An all-party meeting on the
Mullaperiyar issue here on Wednesday decided that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy,
Leader of Opposition VS Achuthanandan and Water Resources Minister PJ Joseph
would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to highlight the seriousness of raising
the water level in the dam to 142 feet.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Joseph said
they will meet Modi with a request to appoint a new international team of
experts to study the dam's safety. “It was also decided to approach the
National Green Tribunal as with the water level now raised to 142 feet, there
have been lot of violations to four central acts,” he said.
The Supreme Court in May had allowed Tamil Nadu to
increase the water level from 136 feet to 142 feet and said that the dam was
safe. For the first time in many years - following the heavy rains in and around
the dam site and Tamil Nadu’s decision not to draw the water to the Vaigai dam
- the water level was pegged at 142 feet.
Following this, lot of fear and concerns was raised by
the people living in Idukki district and Chandy decided to call an all party
meet to discuss the issue.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders present at the
meeting however struck a different chord and said that there is no point in
placing the issue before the prime minister because the state did not show any
sort of seriousness when the issue surfaced in the court.
“The need of the hour is to open a political dialogue
with Tamil Nadu and not with the prime minister,” said state BJP president V Muraleedharan.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an
1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and then British regime.
Though the dam is located in Kerala, it is owned,
maintained and operated by Tamil Nadu.