Opposition wants Kerala CM to stick to traditional stand on Mullaperiyar dam

Thiruvananthapuram, June 3: Opposition UDF leaders met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday and conveyed “people’s concern” over his recent statements on the strength of the Mullaperiyar dam.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said “we have conveyed people’s anguish
over his statement and wanted an assurance from the government that there will not be any compromise on the safety of the reservoir.”

He wanted the new CPM-led LDF government to follow the same stand taken by the previous governments in the state on the issue, which has been a bone of contention between Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Chennithala also said no steps should be taken that would weaken the existing case on Mullaperiyar in the Supreme Court, particularly at a time when the Tamil Nadu government was demanding raising the water level to 152 feet from the present 142 feet.

However, Chennithala said UDF welcomed Vijayan’s statement yesterday that the government was not against the new dam and also readiness to carry out a study by an international expert team on the dam’s strength.

“We also stand for a cordial relationship with neighbouring Tamil Nadu. But, the state’s interest and safety of the dam should not be compromised at any cost,” he said.

Vijayan’s remark on the strength of the existing dam during his recent visit to New Delhi had sparked a row with Congress-led UDF flaying him, saying “LDF has changed its stand on the dam from its earlier demand for a new dam.”