UDF, LDF leaders visit Mullaperiyar

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Protest
Idukki (Ker), Nov 30: Keeping up the tempo over the Mullaperiyar issue, top leaders of Kerala's ruling Congress-led UDF and opposition CPI(M)-led LDF visited the dam, pledging support to ongoing protests in the area demanding construction of a new dam in place of the 116-year-old structure.

Though the UDF and LDF teams visited the area separately, they told reporters that there was no difference between them on the core demand on the Mullaperiyar issue.

Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan, who led the LDF team, asked the Centre not to remain silent and take the initiative to facilitate talks between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, locked in a long-standing dispute over the dam's safety.

Kerala PCC president Ramesh Chennithala, who led the UDF delegation, also expressed the hope of early central initiative on the issue.

Meanwhile, MPs from Kerala belonging to both the coalitions jointly submitted a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi, seeking its urgent intervention in the matter considering the "dire threat" posed by the dam to over three million people in downstream areas.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are locked in a dispute over the dam. While Kerala is arguing for construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar in place of the existing one, Tamil Nadu is against this, saying it would deprive water for irrigation to five districts of the state.

PTI

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