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Ministers from Kerala meet PM over Mullaperiyar dam row

November 29, 2011 16:46 IST

Stepping up their campaign on the Mullaperiyar issue, Union Ministers from Kerala on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention in ensuring the saftey of the 116-year-old dam.

Union Ministers Vayalar Ravi, K V Thomas, K C Venugopal,Mullapally Ramachandran and E Ahamed met Dr Singh with a demand to rein in Tamil Nadu's insistence on increasing the water level in the reservoir for enhancing water supply to the state.

"The prime minister heard us out and assured us that he would look into the issue," Ravi told reporters.

MPs from Kerala, cutting across party lines, continued their protest in Parliament premises to press for their demand for building a new dam to replace the existing structure.

Alongside the representatives from Kerala, four MPs from Tamil Nadu staged a sit-in protest demanding implementation of the Supreme Court directive on the matter by raising the storage level to 142 feet.

The Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala's Idukki district has been a sparring point for the state with Tamil Nadu for quite some time now. While Tamil Nadu wants to increase the water-level in the reservoir, Kerala has been insisting that it be reduced from the current 136 feet to 120 feet.

Kerala is willing to construct a new dam for supplying water to Tamil Nadu, which is opposing the move concerned over losing control over the functionality of the dam.

Various groups in Kerala had been arguing that the dam cannot withstand higher magnitude earthquakes and posed a threat to lives and properties of over three million people in Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.

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