Monday, November 28, 2011

Kerala firm on new Mullaperiyar dam: Mani

The Kerala government on Monday announced that it will go ahead with the construction 

of a new dam at 

Mullaperiyar and urged prime minister Manmohan Singh to "intervene strongly" in the dispute 

and make 

Tamil Nadu initiate "practical steps" on the issue. "The state government will not go  back from

its decision to construct a new dam at an estimated expense of Rs 600 crore," finance minister

KM Mani told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

"Kerala has the right to construct a new dam in Kerala's land funded by the state for the safety 
of the people of the state," he said, adding about 45 lakh people living in five districts of Kerala 
are facing serious threat to their lives.
It was due to the "non-cooperative attitude" of the Tamil Nadu government that the
 Mullaperiyar issue was being dragged on without arriving at a solution, he charged.
Funds have been earmarked in this year's budget for the construction of a new dam at 
Mullaperiyar, he said.
Urging Tamil Nadu to adopt a "compassionate approach" to the issue, Mani said Kerala 
was never against giving water to the neighbouring state. "A new dam is the only solution 
as we cannot play with the lives of over 45 lakh people living in the downstream area," he said.
Kerala has been pressing for immediate central intervention to persuade Tamil Nadu to agree 
to the proposal of a new dam at Mullaperiyar holding that the present 116-year-old structure
 posed a threat to nearly three million people, mainly in Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts.
However, holding a contradictory view, Tamil Nadu has opposed construction of a new dam,
 asserting that the present reservoir "is as safe and good as new" and accused Kerala of 
whipping up fear psychosis.

Kerala's decision to construct a dam at Mullaperiyar might affect the Theni farms.

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