Achuthanandan meets PM over Mullaperiyar dam issue


New Delhi : Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Friday evening and suggested a joint meeting with his Tamil Nadu counterpart M. Karunanidhi to settle the Mullaperiyar dam issue.

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“I have suggested a meeting of the two chief ministers in the presence of the prime minister to settle the issue. He has said that he would consider the suggestion,” Achuthanandan told reporters after meeting the prime minister.

The chief minister has also written to the prime minister asking him to urgently intervene in the matter.

“I have written to you on several occasions drawing your attention to the imminent threat posed by more than a century-old Mullaperiyar dam to the life and safety of lakhs of people in Kerala,” the chief minister wrote.

While the dam is located in Kerala, according to a 999-year lease agreement signed before independence water for irrigation has to be given to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

“Kerala is constantly threatened by the fragility of the dam, causing fear and panic among our people,” Achuthanandan said.

Kerala has been demanding construction of a new dam at the site, which is opposed by Tamil Nadu.

A case is pending with the Supreme Court in this regard.

“We are looking for a legal and political solution to the problem,” said Kerala Water Resource Development Minister N.K. Premachandran, who accompanied Achuthanandan to the meeting with the prime minister.