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    UDF members stage fast

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: UDF leaders and workers, including KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, staged a fast in front of the Palayam Martyrs Column here on Thursday demanding construction of a new dam and lowering the water level of Mullaperiyar dam to 120 feet.
    Speaking on the occasion, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said that Kerala which was providing water for Tamil Nadu is now seeking the safety of the people who will be affected if the event of any disaster. The fears of the people in the area could be removed only with the construction of a new dam, he said.
    Around 28 tremors have been recorded near the area and the people in central Kerala fear that tremors would continue resulting in the collapse of the old dam. Even if the new dam is constructed, Tamil Nadu will be provided waters which can be used by them for agriculture purposes or generating power as per their wish.
    Chennithala said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa should come forward for a discussion to ease the tension on the issue. He also said that Tamil Nadu Government should ensure the safety of  Keralities  residing in Tamil Nadu. No incident of violence against Tamilians was reported from any part of Kerala.
    Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan had jointly taken the effort to ensure the safety of Tamilians in the state.
    Gandhian P Gopinathan inaugurated the fast. B Babu Paul, Sugathakumari, Palayam Imam Jamaludeen Mankada, Major Archbishop Moran Mor Baselious Cleemis Catholicos, cine actor Suresh Gopi, ministers C N Balakrishnan, V S Sivakumar, former KPCC president Thennala Balakrishna Pillai, K Muraleedharan, M M Hassan, Deputy Speaker N Shakthan, AICC member Simi Rosebell John, AICC secretary Shanimol Usman, C Moinkutty of Muslim League and other UDF leaders participated.