Kerala gives nod for analysing seepage in Mullaperiyar, says TN CM

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Chennai, Dec 21 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said his Kerala counterpart V S Achuthanandan had agreed to consider his suggestion to analyse the extent of seepage in the Mullaiperiyar Dam by a team of engineers from states not involving Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Talking to reporters here after returning from New Delhi where he attended the National Developmental Council (NDC) Meeting and the Chief Ministers' Conference, Mr Karunanidhi said as the talks, held at the initiative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, remained inconclusive, he suggested that any danger to the dam could be analysed by the extent of the seepage.

A committee of engineers from other states could inspect the seepage in the dam, through the Central Water Commission, he opined.

Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz informed this to Mr Achuthanandan, who agreed to consider it and the meeting was adjourned thereafter.

''This is a forward movement,'' he said, adding that Kerala insisted on constructing a new dam as the seepage endangered the very existence of the present dam.

''If such an incident occurred, there would be heavy loss of life and property,'' the Kerala PWD Minister had said at the meeting, arguing in favour of construction of a new dam, Mr Karunanidhi pointed out.

''At this stage, I intervened and gave this suggestion, which Mr Achuthanandan said would be considered,'' he added.

He said he was initially hesitant for Chief Minister-level talks going by the outcome of the previous round of negotiations on the issue, but had agreed to the Prime Minister's request and participated in the talks.

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