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Kerala against raising Periyar height

Oct 23, 2006 07:38 PM IST India India

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government held an all-party meeting in MChennai on Monday to decide on the course of action on the ullai Periyar dam issue.

The Kerala government opposes any move to increase the height of the Mullai Periyar dam. A resolution was passed at the all-party meet for talks to continue between the two states in the presence of central government officials.

Tamil Nadu's politicians stepping over their political divide to discuss the state's water dispute with Kerala over the Mullai Periyar dam.

In February 2005 the Supreme Court had given Tamil Nadu the green light for increasing the dam's height from 136 feet to 142 feet.

But the then Jayalalithaa government filed a petition had asking for a clarification and the court observed that the matter could be solved through talks between the states.

Now the all-party meeting in Chennai has passed a resolution yet again asking for talks with Kerala in the presence of the Central government.

Kerala's argument is that the Dam's structure is not strong enough to take the increase in height.

The height increase would mean lesser inflows into Kerala's Idukki reservoir and that expert’s believe is the real reason for Kerala's opposition where it's now an emotive political issue.

For Tamil Nadu increase in height of the dam would mean irrigation for a lakh and twenty five thousand acres of crops in five southern districts. It would also mean increased production of electricity.

Observers feel that talks will only delay the issue further. They say since the Supreme Court has given the green light for increasing the height Tamil Nadu need not wait for negotiations.

The Statesman Special Representative Sam Rajappa says, “Even now all the Tamil Nadu government has to do is to withdraw the petition filed by the earlier Jayalalithaa government and go ahead with the height increase because Kerala has not been able to get a stay order."

They feel the resolutions passed by the much hyped all party meeting would only result in more politics over the troubled waters of the Mullai Periyar dam.