CPI-M politburo resolution on dam faulty, says Achuthanandan

December 2nd, 2011 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2 (IANS) V.S. Achuthanandan, former Kerala chief minister and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader, Friday said a resolution passed by the party’s politburo the day before on Mullaperiyar Dam did not reflect the feelings of all the people of the state.

“The statement that came out yesterday from the politburo does not contain the feelings of the people of Kerala. I wish that they take a stand which will contain all the feelings of the people of Kerala with regard to the Mullaperiyar Dam,” Achuthanandan told reporters here.

Political parties in the state are demanding a new dam be built after decommissioning the 115-year-old Mullaperiyar earthen dam in Idukki district, but the politburo statement issued from Delhi Thursday did not mention a word about a new dam.

The politburo said that both Kerala and Tamil Nadu should adopt an attitude which would help resolve the longstanding and complex issue amicably, besides ensure the safety of the present dam.

Achuthanandan asked Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of the Congress to change the state’s advocate general as he, while appearing for the state government in the Kerala High Court, Friday said there was no relation between water level in Mullaperiyar Dam and the safety of the structure.

“This statement is ridiculous and one which is totally against the interest of the state. Chandy should see that this person is booted out,” he said.

“If this is the opinion, then what is the use of an all-party meeting that has been called here and also the need for a day-long special session of the Kerala assembly next week,” asked Achuthanandan.

Advocate General K.P. Dandapani said his statement in the court had been twisted out of context by the media.

“It is very unfortunate that such a thing occurred because the court was fully satisfied with my presentation and they are fully convinced of what I informed them. The question of my resignation does not arise,” said Dandapani.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj. While the dam is located in Kerala, its waters serve Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu wants the dam’s storage capacity to be increased by raising the dam height from 136 feet (41.5 metre) to 142 feet (43 metre) as the state’s irrigation needs have shot up.

Kerala is worried that a strong earthquake might damage the masonry dam and cause widespread destruction and flooding. It is seeking a new dam and has offered to fund and build it. But Tamil Nadu does not agree.

Experts have pointed out that if a quake strikes Mullaperiyar and it is damaged, people and property in districts of Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and parts of Thrissur would be washed away.

Since June this year, the Idukki district has witnessed close to two dozen tremors.

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