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Chandy meets PM, presses for new dam at Mullaperiyar

Chandy meets PM, presses for new dam at Mullaperiyar

New Delhi: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday met Prime minister Narendra Modi and made a strong pitch for a new dam at Mullaperiyar to replace the over 112-year-old "structurally weak" reservoir.

The Chief Minister, who is here with a delegation of state ministers, met Modi and sought the Centre's intervention for arranging talks between Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the vexed Mullaperiyar issue.

The dam, which is at the centre of dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is located in Kerala on the Periyar river but is operated and managed by Tamil Nadu.

"We requested the Government of India to make an atmosphere of joint discussion of two states. Kerala is prepared to attend talks any time," Chandy later told reporters.

The CM also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister during the meeting.

Kerala also urged the Centre to undertake a study by a team of national and international experts on the strength of the 'structurally weak' dam.

Pointing out that Kerala was not opposed to sharing waters of Mullaperiyar with Tamil Nadu, he said a new dam instead of the 'structurally weak' one at Mullaperiyar was a necessity to ensure the safety of people living in the catchment areas.

Without in any way harming the interests of Tamil Nadu, Kerala should be permitted to construct a new safety dam, Chandy said he told Modi.

Recently, concerns were voiced by Kerala after the water level in the dam nearly touched the apex court-fixed maximum limit of 142 feet following heavy rains.

The state also sought Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's intervention to find a solution to help rubber farmers in the state, who were facing a crisis due to a sharp fall in prices.

Kerala ministers--K C Joseph, P J Joseph, V S Shivakumar, Anoop Jacob and K Babu, were also present during the meeting with the Prime minister.

The Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues also met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and presented a memorandum.

Chandy also met Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Civil Aviation Minister, M Gajapati Raju, Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth kumar.

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