NEW DELHI: Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met several union ministers here to take up issues related to threat posed by rise in water level in Mullaperiyar dam due to heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu and progress of major development and infrastructure projects in the state.
Chandy along with senior cabinet ministers of the state and Kerala MPs met Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti to take up the issue of Mullaperiyar dam and appealed to the Centre to ask Tamil Nadu to take measures to protect people living in low lying areas of Kerala. He was assured that matter will be taken up with concerned authorities in the Central Water Commission.
The chief minister will raise the issue with Modi during his meeting scheduled at 12 noon Friday. He demanded that TN should take measures to reduce the water level in dam as any breach in over 100-year-old structure will cause flooding and massive damage in Kerala.
Chandy said based on the fact TN received 30 cm rainfall in just 24 hours, the IIT Roorkee study on dam becomes sensible on dam overflow. The study suggested the possibility of a vast area around the reservoir getting submerged in flood waters within a short time if the dam collapsed in the event of a strong earthquake.
Kerala has been demanding construction of new dam keeping in mind the present structure is over a century old. The Supreme Court in May, 2014 had allowed TN to raise the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 ft to 142 ft while there have been issues between the two states over construction of new dam.
Chandy also met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.
He raised state’s demand for new railway lines and projects ahead of Rail Budget with Suresh Prabhu while with Naidu discussion was held on Kochi smart city. The major issue of discussion with Ananth Kumar was revival of FACT Plant at Kochi and implementation of Food Security Act in the state was taken up with Paswan.
Chandy was suppose to meet Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar over Western Ghats report but the later is in Paris attending UN climate sumit.