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Kerala, TN CMs meet to resolve dam row
November 29, 2006 11:48 IST
The chief ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are holding crucial discussions in New Delhi on Wednesday in a bid to resolve the deadlock over the emotive Mullaperiyar dam issue.
The talks, being held against the backdrop of the recent spat between the states over raising of the height of the 111-year-old dam, is convened by Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz.
Besides Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the Tamil Nadu delegation comprised PWD Minister Duraimurugan and Power Minister Arcot Veeraswamy.
Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran assists Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.
The two states are sharply divided over the height of the dam in Idukki district of Kerala.
The Mullaperiyar water is a prime irrigation source for the Cumbum-Theni farm belt of Tamil Nadu.
While Kerala holds that raising the storage level above 136 feet would endanger the safety of lakhs of people living downstream in five districts, Tamil Nadu wants the water level to be increased to 142 ft immediately as per the Supreme Court order.
During the meeting, the Kerala side is likely to suggest construction of a new dam near the existing dam and inking of a fresh agreement for water sharing by scrapping the 999-year pact between the two states.
Tamil Nadu is expected to stick to its position that the storage level should be increased to 142 ft as ordered by the Supreme Court. The state may also demand deployment of CISF at the dam to ensure compliance of the court order.