Arab Today, arab today kerala cm reaches out to tn media
Last Updated : GMT 05:43:04
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Kerala CM reaches out to TN media

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Arab Today, arab today Kerala CM reaches out to TN media

Trivandrum - Arabstoday

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has invited editors from Tamil Nadu (TN) for interaction over an aged dam amid rising tensions across the border and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief being arrested in Theni near the Kerala border on Wednesday.“One newspaper published from Chennai ran a front-page story recently saying 500 Tamil workers were raped in Kerala. Such misinformation campaign is going on there,” Chandy said during an interaction with  mediapersons in Trivandrum on Wednesday.“There is an urgent need to change that perception.” Chandy had last week held a “cordial meeting” with journalists representing Tamil Nadu media in New Delhi who were bowled over by his down-to-earth manners.“I’m going to have a similar exercise with the editors from Tamil Nadu as well. They have accepted my invitation and offered to fly down after the Christmas holiday rush,” Chandy said.“Both of us could not afford to have a confrontationist line as we are interdependent in many ways.”The chief minister claimed that the state’s stand on the issue has gained national acceptance and he expected a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court for lowering the water level to 36 metres and building a new dam replacing the existing structure.He reiterated the state’s stand that it’s ready for talks with Tamil Nadu at any level to solve the issue.He also defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s stand saying he made all attempts to bring both sides around a table but Tamil Nadu refused.MDMK chief Vaiko Gopalswami, Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P. Nedumaram and others were arrested while trying to block all routes to Kerala over Mullaperiyar row.The TN opposition party has declared an economic blockade against Kerala alleging attempts to block water for Tamil Nadu by decommissioning the existing dam.MDMK intensified the agitation even as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa attacked the union government on Wednesday for ordering a contingency response plan for the dam area.She decried it as an unwarranted move that sends a signal that the dam will indeed burst, and urged Manmohan Singh to withdraw it forthwith.In a letter to Singh after the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) formulated a contingency response plan for the dam, Jayalalithaa pointed out that the matter was pending before the Supreme Court and hence the constitution of a team of experts by an agency chaired by the PM was nwarranted.“The objective of the Kerala government appears to be a calculated attempt to pressure the Empowered Committee to declare the dam unsafe,” she charged.Jayalalithaa charged the Centre of succumbing to the “subterfuge” of the Kerala government and trying to present a fait accompli to the Supreme Court and the Empowered Committee formed by it.Meanwhile, civil and structural engineering expert S. Ramanathan told a seminar in Chennai that the dam is a safe one and did not pose any trouble.“The dam was constructed using Roman cement-concrete, a material that can stand the test of time,” he said.Kerala’s Idukki district, where 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam operated by Tamil Nadu witnessing a lot of seismic activities, is quake-prone and Kerala fears there is serious risk to the dam.

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