Kerala Assembly meets on Mullaperiyar issue

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Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 9: A special one-day session of the Kerala Assembly on the Mullaperiyar Dam issue began here today, seeking to formalise the political consensus in the state on the demand for a new dam in place of the 116-year-old structure.

Moving the submission on the issue at the outset, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy it was unfortunate that Tamil Nadu had not taken into due account the anxieties and fears of Kerala arising out of the existing dam, even in the backdrop of frequent tremors in the area. He said Kerala had made it amply clear its neighbour would continue to get the same level of water even after a new dam is built and the state was keen to resolve the issue without in any way compromising its good relations with Tamil Nadu.

Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan supported the submission. The house is expected to adopt a unanimous resolution after a three-hour discussion seeking a new dam and lowering the water level in the reservoir to 120 feet from 136 feet as an immediate safety measure.

The issue has come to fore in the past two weeks with Kerala raising the pitch for the new dam citing safety concerns about the existing structure, which Tamil Nadu, however, feels is as good as a new one. Kerala has been witnessing a series of protests by various political parties and social groups for a new dam in the wake of recent tremors in the region and rising water level in the dam, located in Kerala's Idduki district but maintained by Tamil Nadu under a 999 year lease.

PTI

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