Kerala Assembly sticks to demand for new dam, DMK calls stir

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai, Dec 9: Ratcheting up its pressure in the snowballing Mullaperiyar dam row with Tamil Nadu, Kerala Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a resolution insisting on a new dam to replace the 116-year old reservoir.

The one-day special Assembly session adopted a resolution moved by Chief Minister Ommen Chandy asking the Centre and the state government to take steps to build a new dam, an issue that has erupted again in recent weeks putting both the neighbours on a collision course.

In Chennai, DMK expressed dissatisfaction with both Centre and AIADMK government in the state over their handling of the issue and announced a hunger strike and a mammoth human chain next week protesting Kerala's demand.

DMK called an emergent meeting of its executive council and passed a resolution blaming "narrow political considerations" by some persons in Kerala for "tension in the border" and expressed fear it would affect cordial relations between people of the two states.

It also asked Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to convene an all-party meeting so as to present a picture of unity on the decades old issue over the dam, located in Kerala but controlled by Tamil Nadu under a 999-year-long lease.

Winding up the three-hour-long debate in the Kerala Assembly, Chandy said the state wanted to resolve the issue through talks, with the Centre as an intermediary, while maintaining the cordial ties with Tamil Nadu.

Asserting that a new dam was the only permanent solution, he said it was due to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention that a meeting of officials from the two states has been convened either on December 15 or 16.

PTI

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