Mullaperiyar: Kerala welcomes official level talks

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 6:  Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday night welcomed the proposed official level talks on the Mullaperiyar issue between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Kerala always wanted the issue to be settled amicably through talks and its stand had been water for Tamil Nadu and safety to Kerala, Chandy said after a late night cabinet meeting.

Stepping in to defuse the escalating crisis over the dam dispute, the Centre today invited senior officials from Tamil Nadu and Kerala for discussions on the issue even as the Supreme Court-appointed empowered panel decided to send a two-member team to the site for an on-the-spot assessment.

Union Water Resources Ministry today sent out letters to Secretaries of Water Resources departments in both states inviting them for a meeting on the issue either on December 15 or 16 here, sources said.

This will be the first official meeting between the two sides on the issue in six years.Chandy also appealed to all those agitatating in Idukki district to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from doing anything that would vitiate the atmosphere.

"There were some unfortunate things at Kumali and Cumbam Medu. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been declared there. Nobody would be allowed to take law into their hands", Chandy told reporters.

On the controversy over the Advocate General issue, he said the AG had been asked to appear before the cabinet on Wednesday and explain his position.

PTI

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