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Spl Assembly session to discuss SC order on Mullaiperiyar: CM

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Mar 6 (UNI) The Kerala government today decided to convene a special two-day session of the State Assembly on March 14 and 15 to discuss amendments to the Kerala Dam Safety Act 2003 in wake of the Supreme Court order directing to raise the water level of the century-old Mullaiperiyar Dam.

Announcing this here, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government would recommend to the State Governor to convene the Assembly as decided by an all-party meeting held here today.

The meeting chaired by Mr Chandy and attended by cabinet colleagues and legislature party leaders besides representatives of all politicial parties, except the BJP, was necessitated by the February 27 order of the Supreme Court on the water level in the dam.

Though the meeting had earlier decided to hold the Assembly session on March 13 and 14, the dates had to be subsequently changed in view of the 'Attukal Pongala,' a major temple festival taking place in the state capital on March 13, it was announced later.

The session will be exclusively devoted to discuss amendment to the Dam Safety Act, This is considered to be the only way out for the government to overcome the Supreme Court order which had gone totally against the interests of the state, Mr Chandy said.

The SC order had caused concern and fear in the minds of the people of Kerala in the wake of the findings of a centrally appointed expert committee which, in 2001, recommended against raising the water level of the 111-year-old dam beyond 136 ft on grounds of safety, he said.

Mr Chandy said while Kerala was not against providing additional water to Tamil Nadu, the safety and interests of the people in the five districts of Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Alapuzha had to be taken care of while raising the water level in the dam from 136 ft to 142 ft.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in the Assembly V S Achuthanandan, who also participated in the all-party meeting, blamed the government's 'lacklustre' way of handling the sensitive issue in the Supreme Court that made it ignore Kerala's arguments on safety aspects.

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