In a rare move, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and leader of the opposition V S Achuthanandan jointly met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and urged him to intervene in the Mullaperiyar dam issue. They want him to impress upon Tamil Nadu to ensure that the storage level of the more than a century old dam is maintained at around 136 feet.
Chandy and Achuthanandan also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to draw their attention to demands of the state.
While the Supreme Court has allowed Tamil Nadu to raise the water level in the dam to 142 feet, Kerala has been pointing out that such a move would affect the dam’s safety. In a memorandum to Modi, they asked him to intervene to make Tamil Nadu agree to Kerala’s demand for construction of a new dam.
“Until such time that a consensus is reached on the construction of a new dam, impress upon Tamil Nadu to ensure storage level in the dam is maintained at around 136 feet and to avoid the contingency of a sudden discharge and flooding of the downstream areas of the dam in the event of huge inflows into the dam,” they said.
Kerala also sought the Centre to impress upon the chairman of the supervisory committee and the Central Water Commission to ensure a fair hearing and treatment for Kerala’s concerns.