Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 4 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Wednesday a new Mullaperiyar Dam will soon be a reality.
‘A new dam is now under active consideration and this is the reward for the stand that all political parties and the people of our state took for a new dam,’ Chandy told reporters here.
He said that additional chief secretary K. Jayakumar was in Delhi at the time the Supreme Court appointed an expert committee to review the Mullaperiyar Dam issue.
‘We have met with success because we never had any secret agenda. Our only objective was water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala. We have also made it clear that the entire water would be for Tamil Nadu and the control of the dam could be through a joint agreement between the two states. And if Tamil Nadu wants we are willing to sign an agreement or pass a legislation,’ added Chandy.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerhead over the dam, which was built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj. The dam, which is located in Kerala, serves Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu government wants the storage capacity to be increased by raising the dam’s height from 136 feet (41.5 metre) to 142 feet (43 metre) to meet the state’s irrigation needs.
The Kerala government is apprehensive of this and says that givven the state of the dam, a strong earthquake could cause widespread destruction in the state.
The state government is seeking a new dam and has offered the funds to built it, but the Tamil Nadu government has strongly opposed it.
Experts say if a quake strikes, over four million people and their property in the Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts and parts of Thrissur would be affected.