Thiruvanathapuram, Oct 28: Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan has asked the Tamil Nadu Government to agree to its demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar as the present one had outlived its life.
Speaking to reporters here, Achuthanandan said, "Forty lakh people are living in constant fear in five districts in the state. In 1979, the Centre had cleared the proposal for a new dam and this was agreed upon by Tamil Nadu. But now they have changed their stand and they say even if lakhs die here, the present dam should be there."
Sources said, the dam is located in Kerala's Idukki district, it serves Tamil Nadu. In recent years, Tamil Nadu has demanded that the storage capacity of the dam be raised from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142 feet (43 m) to meet the increasing demand of water for irrigation.
Recently, Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh had given the nod for conducting a survey at Mullaperiyar for a new dam.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, which was hearing a petition filed by Tamil Nadu to stop the survey, decided to appoint a joint committee of the two states to conduct a study on the safety of the dam.