NEW DELHI: In a rare show of aggression, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday asked Tamil Nadu to explain whether its primary concern was Mullaiperiyar water or the control of the dam.
“What Tamil Nadu needs? Is it water or control of the dam?,” Chandy asked here at a press conference convened after his meeting with Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. He was alluding at Tamil Nadu’s memorandum submitted recently to the Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee in which the State had blamed that contentions raised by Kerala regarding a new dam were only an attempt to get over the existing regime and to work out a new regime.
“If Tamil Nadu’s primary concern is water, then we are ready to sign on any agreement promising that Tamil Nadu will get the same amount of water,” he said, reiterating Kerala’s position that it is willing for a joint regulation of Mullaiperiyar waters with representatives from both the states and the Centre. “We have no intention to hurt anyone. We can’t compromise on dam’s security but at the same time we are concerned about the water issues of Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Chandy also blamed Tamil Nadu for not reciprocating with the same enthusiasm in settling the Mullaiperiyar controversy.
He said that Kerala was keen to settle the matter out of court as legal procedures would consume much more time than both the States can afford.