The Kerala government on Monday gave an undertaking to the Centre that it would continue to provide the same quantum of water to Tamil Nadu, as is being given now, if a new dam was constructed in the place of the existing 116-year old Mullai Periyar dam in the Idukki district. Besides, the State would construct the dam from its own funds.
This assurance in writing, as sought by Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal from Kerala a few days ago, was jointly given by State Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph and Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan here, as authorised by the Oomen Chandy’s cabinet.
Mr. Bansal had earlier clearly told Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy that the Centre would try to mediate and convene a bilateral meeting between the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, if Kerala gave such a written assurance.
Meanwhile, talking to The Hindu, Mr. Joseph said Mr. Bansal had promised to discuss with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the fresh development and see what could be done next. The Minister said the team also met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and discussed the issue. The two Ministers would meet Dr. Singh on Tuesday and take up the issue again, he said.
Earlier in the day, MPs from Kerala, cutting across party lines, took up the issue in both Houses of Parliament and stalled the proceedings seeking the Centre’s immediate intervention.