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Increasing dam level: team meets union irrigation minister

india Updated: Aug 07, 2009 18:27 IST

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A seven member team, led by the Joint Secretary, Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations, Tamil Nadu, has met Union Irrigation Minister Bansal Kumar and apprised him of the need to increase the maximum level of the Mullaiperiyar dam to 142 feet.

The team, comprising former Congress MP AGS Rambabu,also told the minister the dam was not weak, as made out by Kerala and that technical experts of the Central water resources Commission had opined that the dam could hold upto 142 feet.

They also referred to the Supreme Court order on increasing the level.

They also met Union Ministers MK Azhagiri, GK Vsan and Napolean who assured them that they would do the needful.

Consortium secretary M Puthisigamani told reporters that the proposed site for the new dam by Kerala would be so deep that the state would not be able to provide any water to Tamil nadu and said they had urged the Centre to stop this move.

Bansal kumar promised to visit the dam site in September and take steps to increase the level to 142 feet.

The two states have for long been at loggerheads over the issue. Initially, the row centred around raising the maximum water level, with Kerala stating it should not exceed 132 feet and Tamil Nadu insisting it be raised to at least 142 feet.

Later studies by Kerala has said the existence of the dam itself posed a grim threat to about three million people living in five districts of the state.

On July 24, Kerala had sought the Centre's intervention to construct a new dam in place of the 113-year old dam, holding that it was in a "highly critical" state.

The state had said it was all for giving water to Tamil Nadu, but after safeguarding the lives of people in Kerala.