Kerala for out-of-court settlement of dam row

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday called on Kerala Governor M O H Farook and apprised him of the situation. He requested the governor to convey the feelings of the state to the Centre. An out-of-the-court settlement should be arrived in the issue at the earliest, he said.

LDF convener Vaikom Viswan also demanded that the Union government broker a settlement in the issue immediately. He added that a special session of the Kerala Assembly should be held immediately to discuss the issue.

Kerala is apprehensive that the Mullaperiyar dam in the state, which supplies water to Tamil Nadu, has become weak following repeated earthquakes in the area and wants a new dam to be built in its place without delay. But Tamil Nadu dismisses such fears and feels that there is no need to build a new dam.

Chennithala said he would visit the dam on Wednesday to assess the situation. An LDF team lead by opposition leader V S Achuthanandan will also visit the dam the same day.

Viswan criticised Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for not leading the Kerala ministerial delegation to New Delhi to apprise the Union government of the apprehensions of the state. His presence in the team which met Union ministers recently would have helped Kerala’s cause, said Viswan.

Viswan said the LDF will organise a human chain from the Mullaperiyar dam to the Arabian sea on December 8 on the issue. Protests will be held all over the state coinciding with the event.

Protests continued to rock Kerala on Tuesday also with four districts in the state—Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha—observing a hartal in response to a call by the BJP demanding the immediate construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar. Normal life was affected with shops and business establishments remaining closed. Public transport system operated but less number of vehicles plied.
BJP workers who blocked traffic at the Kumily check post in Idukki bordering Tamil Nadu clashed with police.

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