Thiruvananthapuram: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding steps to raise the water level in Mullaperiyar dam to 152 feet. Ms Jayalithaaa, who made her maiden visit to the national capital after her second consecutive electoral victory, also sought early steps by the Centre to implement the plan to link Achankovil, Pampa and Vaipar rivers.
Ms Jayalalithaa is understood have told the Prime Minister that Tamil Nadu has strengthened the dam to hold more water. The Supreme Court had in 2014, based on a report by an Empowered Committee, allowed Tamil Nadu to raise the water level to 142 feet. It had also permitted the water level to go up to 152 feet once Tamil Nadu strengthened the dam.
Kerala has opposed the move saying that it feared for the safety of lakhs of people living downstream the 121-year old dam. Making it clear that she has set her eyes on more Kerala waters, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also sought Centre to take steps to implement the river link project which will divert 634 million cubic metre water from the Kerala rivers to Tamil Nadu.
In her 29-page memorandum submitted Mr Modi at his Race Course residence, Ms Jayalalithaa also demanded formation of Cauvery Management Board and a water regulation committee, retrieval of Katchatheevu island and inclusion of fishermen in the Scheduled Tribes list.
In the memorandum, the state has also urged for the early commissioning of Unit 2 of Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The hard bargaining by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister comes in the wake of the reports of the National Democratic Alliance looking for more allies to raise its tally in the Rajya Sabha over the half-way mark. Ms Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK is the largest regional group in Parliament with over 50 MPs....