Kerala wants Manmohan to intervene in dam row

Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan told newsmen here that he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to prevail on Tamil Nadu not to oppose the survey.

“We cannot play with the lives of the people,’’ he said referring to the threat posed by the 113-year-old Mullaperiyar dam to the lives of 45 lakh people in five districts. “We have given water to Tamil Nadu for decades without taking a single pie in return and will continue to give water. But we will also have to look after our people,” he said.

Achuthanandan’s reaction came in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu strongly opposing the survey claiming that the century-old dam, one of the oldest in the world, was safe and posed no danger.

The chief minister pointed out that the Centre’s sanction was only to conduct a survey and not for building a dam which was a matter under the consideration of the Supreme court and Centre.

Achuthanandan added that parties in Tamil Nadu were opposing the survey for some reason which was affecting the friendship between the two states. He further said Tamil Nadu was trying to isolate Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh for giving permission for the survey after undertaking a detailed study of the issue. “This is unfortunate,’’ he said and urged the Centre not to heed the baseless allegations being made by Tamil Nadu.

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