Kerala Congress (M) threatens second phase stir for new dam
Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani has said that his party will launch “the second phase of the agitation for a new dam at Mullaperiyar if the Centre does not take a decision on the matter within ten days.”
Inaugurating a seminar organised by the party at Mannarkkad on Monday, Mr. Mani said that “if the Centre failed to take a decision on the new dam, the Kerala Congress will be forced to launch the second phase of its agitation. Then the tone and style of it will change,” he warned.
He said that any disaster at Mullaperiyar would not only affect five districts but the entire State and the country as a whole. This national disaster should be avoided by constructing a new dam.
He urged leaders of the national political parties like the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India to visit Mullaperiyar and the threatened districts to study the ground realities and find out the truth about the real danger from the old dam.
Mr. Mani said that Kerala wanted safety for its people and the State was willing to give water to Tamil Nadu. The dam was allowed to be constructed to provide water to Tamil Nadu. It was done for a good cause. So there should not be any doubt for Tamil Nadu that it would not get the same water from Mullaperiyar with the new dam.
He said that some anti-social elements created troubles in Mullaperiyar by attacking some people from Tamil Nadu. But the State government had taken steps to put down such incidents and any attempt to create trouble would be dealt with an iron hand.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had also taken steps to prevent any attack on Keralites in Tamil Nadu. That was a welcome step to preserve the age old cordial relations between the two neighbours, he said.
Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph said it was not a misinformation that keeping the water level at 136 ft was dangerous to the dam and the people living downstream. Since the area was in the seismic zone there was great danger, he said.
The Minister said that he was leaving for Delhi to assist the lawyers appearing for Kerala in the Supreme Court on the Mullaperiyar dam issue.
The meeting was presided over by Kerala Congress (M) district president K.V. Mani. Thomas Unniyadan, MLA; K. Francise, former MP; Joy Abraham, P.C. Joseph, former MLAs, and other leaders spoke.