The Union Home Minister P Chidambaram appealed to the people of Kerala not to misread his speech delivered at a Congress party meeting on Saturday, as he wanted an amicable solution with interest of both being safe guarded on Sunday at New Delhi. Chidambaram, however, appealed to everyone to act with dignity, restraint and patience over the controversy surrounding the Mullai Periyar Dam.
"I appeal to the people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to read the whole of my speech delivered at a Congress party meeting at Chennai on 17.12.2011, which has been extensively reported in "The Hindu" and some other papers. I appealed to everyone that we must act with dignity, restraint and patience," said Chidambaram in a statement on the MP Dam issue.
"I said that fears over the safety of the dam were not justified but it was our duty to allay the apprehensions on the safety of the dam. I said that the safety of the dam was the concern of not only Kerala but also TN, because TN was dependent on the water from the dam. I also appealed to everyone to await the report of the three-judge panel and the decision of the Supreme Court," he added.
Chidambaram further said: "Like some other speakers, I also made a passing reference to the forthcoming by-election. I take back that remark. That reference was not necessary and it was not my intention to hurt the feelings of anyone. I continue to believe that the issue must be resolved in a spirit of cooperation and brotherhood between the people of the two states."
Meanwhile the Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, from Kerala felt Mr. Chidambaram should have used his influence as a political leader to push TN CM for a dialogue with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, as well as Kerala Government to resolve the ongoing row surrounding the century-old MP Dam. Ravi asserted that Chidambaram was expected to settle the discord between the two states, but instead there is furor over Chidambaram's remark on the political scenario in Kerala.
The MP dam issue has been a bone of contention between the Kerala and TN, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj. While it is located in Kerala, its waters also serve TN. Kerala wants a new dam as it would be under its control and has been raising the issue of earthquake threat to the over a century old masonry of MP Dam. Precipitation has been the watchword by the centre on most issues. The MP Dam needs to act upon on a war footing and hope the leaders take up the matter and find an amicable solution. To know about more developments on the solution for this issue watch this space regularly.