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TN, Kerala CMs agree to talk on water dispute

At the meeting, the release read, "they decided to hold official-level talks towards solving the inter-state water-sharing disputes." Increasing the storage capacity of the Mullaperiyar dam is one of the key disputes between the two states.

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TN, Kerala CMs agree to talk on water dispute
Pinarayi Vijayan
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In a move to finally resolve the ongoing water-sharing crisis between their states, the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Thursday decided to hold official-level talks. The decision was taken at a meeting between chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan at the secretariat here, according to an official release from the Tamil Nadu government.

At the meeting, the release read, "they decided to hold official-level talks towards solving the inter-state water-sharing disputes." Increasing the storage capacity of the Mullaperiyar dam is one of the key disputes between the two states.

After the meeting with Palaniswami, Vijayan said that apart from the water dispute, he had also discussed the Nirmal chit fund scam that is currently being investigated by the police of both states. "It's a big fraud. The company's operations are in Kerala and Kanyakumari," he said. About 14,000 depositors were allegedly duped by the firm.

Meanwhile, on water sharing front, Vijayan said, "You see, Tamils and Keralites are brothers and sisters. If there is any problem, we can solve it by holding mutual discussions. Such discussions will take place at the official level. If necessary, ministerial-level and chief-ministerial level discussions can be held."

The two neighbouring states are locked in a row over the Mullaperiyar dam with Kerala raising apprehensions over the safety of the structure that is over-a-century-old. Though located in the Idukki district of Kerala, the dam is owned and operated by Tamil Nadu, as per the 1886 lease agreement.

Court battles

In May 2014, the SC held the dam was safe and allowed TN to raise the water level to 142 feet.
Earlier this year, Tamil Nadu moved the apex court, alleging that Kerala was not allowing it to maintain the dam.

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