NEW DELHI: Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met several Union ministers here on Thursday and discussed a range of topics such as the Mullaperiyar dam issue and progress of major development projects in the state.
Chandy along with his senior cabinet colleagues and MPs from the state met Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, taking up the issue of Mullaperiyar dam and appealed to the Centre to ask Tamil Nadu to adopt measures to protect people living in the low lying areas of Kerala. In turn, Bharti assured Chandy that matter would be taken up with authorities concerned in the Central Water Commission.
The Chief Minister will also raise the issue with Modi during his scheduled meeting on Friday. He demanded that Tamil Nadu should take measures to reduce the water level in the dam as any breach would cause massive damage in Kerala.
Chandy, during the meeting, pointed out a study conducted by IIT Roorkee which stressed on the possibility of a destructive flood. “TN had received 30 cm rainfall in just 24 hours, and the IIT Roorkee 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,” he added. Kerala has been demanding construction of new dam instead of the existing structure, aged well over a century. 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 issues persisted between Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the construction of a new dam.
Later, Chandy also met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers 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.
Chandy raised state’s demand for new railway lines and projects with Prabhu ahead of the Rail Budget.
The CM’s discussion with Naidu centered on the Kochi smart city and constructing some more similar projects in the state.
The major topic of discussion with Ananth Kumar was the revival of FACT and the implementation of Food Security Act in the state was taken up with Ram Vilas Paswan.