Thiruvananthapuram(PTI): Raising the Mullaperiyar Dam issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday demanded that the Centre initiate chief ministerial level talks between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, involved in a dispute over the century-old reservoir.
Chandy, who met the Prime Minister along with some of his cabinet colleagues at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and spent about 15 minutes, also pressed for a second dam across Mullaperiyar to replace the ‘structurally week’ reservoir.
The dam is located in Kerala but operated and managed by Tamil Nadu. The rising water level in the dam due to rains is causing concern over the dam’s safety as five Kerala districts are downstream. Chandy later told reporters that the PM assured that he would “sympathetically” consider their various pleas. This is the second time Chandy had taken up the issue with Modi, who wrapped up his two-day visit to the state this evening. Chandy had recently met the PM in Delhi and discussed various issues of the state, including the dam issue.
Setting aside the controversy over his exclusion from the statue unveiling function of R Sankar, Chandy handed over a memorandum to the Prime minister on the various demands of the state, including the FACT Package, setting up an All Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala and upgrading of Regional cancer centre as National cancer centre. The Chief Minister said Kerala also should get one more smart city besides Kochi.
Talking about the delay in completion of 500 km Gail pipeline across the state due to land acquisition issues, he said land had been acquired for laying the pipeline up to 350 km. The issue of rubber farmers, reduction of air fares to gulf were also discussed with the Prime Minister, he said. The Prime Minister later left for Delhi and was seen off by Kerala Governor, P Sathasivam, Chandy and other dignitaries.