Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy meets PM Modi
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy meets PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi.ANI/Twitter

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, demanding a new dam in the state to replace the older Mullaperiyar reservoir.

Though the Mullaperiyar dam is located in Kerala, it is owned and operated by the Tamil Nadu authorities. Kerala has demanded that the 112-year-old dam be decommissioned as it has developed leaks. However, Tamil Nadu has been against constructing a new reservoir and maintains that the dam is safe.

The Kerala delegation led by Chandy decided to meet Modi after the Tamil Nadu authorities opened six spillway shutters of the dam without warning on 7 December as the water level reached 141.8 feet, which is a couple of inches short of 142 feet sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

According to the apex court's directive in May 2014, the Tamil Nadu government can increase the water level of the reservoir in Kerala only up to 142 feet.

Kerala has sounded a red alert as several hundred families are living in downstream areas like Vallakkadavu and other areas along the Periyar river.

The dam, which is at the centre of the dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, was built under an accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj.

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