Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 24 (UNI) Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan today welcomed the willingness of Tamil Nadu to hold talks in the presence of the Centre on the vexed Mullaperiyar dam issue, but ruled out the demand for raising the storage level in the dam to 142 ft from 136 ft.
Addressing mediapersons here, the Chief Minister said, ''we welcome the outcome of the all party meeting convened by the Tamil Nadu government yesterday. Once we get the official intimation from them, the date and venue for the meeting will be fixed''. We would also like to hold talks in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohand Singh or a person authorised by him, he added.
On the demand by Tamil Nadu to raise the water level in the 111-year-old dam, the Kerala government had already made its stand clear that it was not possible due to safety aspects.
Even the Supreme Court, which pronounced a similar judgement earlier, had now suggested to both the states to hold talks to settle the issue, bringing all matters issues relating to the safety aspects to its notice.
Mr Achuthanandan said the Kerala government had agreed to release water from Neyyar dam to Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu as a goodwill gesture for creating a conducive atmosphere for talks.
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