Centre intervention on Mullaperiyar issue

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 14: The Kerala Government today sought immediate intervention of the Union Government to find a solution to the vexed Mullaperiyar dam issue to ensure the safety of people living downstream of the 112-year-old dam.

Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan told newspersons here, the State Cabinet discussed the report of an expert panel that looked into the seepage in Mullaperiyar dam. ''The situation is grave and immediate steps should have to be taken to ensure the safety of the people.'' He said the report of the expert panel would be brought to the notice of the Central and Tamil Nadu Governments and also the Supreme Court.

He also sought Centre's intervention to prevail on the neighbouring state for a joint inspection to carry out urgent repairs on the dam.

The Chief Minister asserted the State Government would go ahead with the proposal to construct a new dam in Mullaperiyar so as to ensure the safety of people and also to supply water to the neighbouring state for irrigation purpose.

He said, the seepage in Mullaperiyar dam had increased considerably when the water level touched 138.2 ft on November six.

Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran, said after releasing the expert committee report, that the dam could not withstand an earthquake of magnitute between three and five on the Richter scale.

The dispute between the two neibouring state was that Tamil Nadu wanted to increase the storage level beyond 142 ft so that it could draw more water from the reservoir. However, Kerala argued that any move to increase the level beyond 136 ft would pose a serious threat to the safety of people living downstream.

UNI

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