Kochi: The Centre would do everything possible to reach an amicable understanding between Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the inter-state Mullaperiyar Dam issue, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav said on Thursday.
His remarks assume significance in wake of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's stated position that a new dam in the downstream more than a century-old existing structure could be achieved only with the support of the Tamil Nadu and the Union governments.
"Mullaperiyar has been an issue that has been there simmering between two states for a very long time. Our government...will certainly do everything possible for both these sides to come to an amicable understanding on this issue," Ram Madhav, flanked by Union ministers Suresh Prabhu and Sanjiv Kumar Balyan, told a press conference in Kochi.
He said BJP wanted to see that the issue between the two neighbouring states was settled amicably.
"We are in favour of finding an amicable solution for the Mullaperiyar dam issue between the two states," he said, when asked whether the party-led Union government would step in to find a solution to the problem.
The two states are at loggerheads over the Mullaperiyar dam, located in Idduki district of Kerala but is under the administrative control of Tamil Nadu as per a 999-year lease agreement and caters to irrigation requirements in southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
While Kerala had been pressing for a new reservoir on the ground that the existing dam was in a dilapidated state and weak, Tamil Nadu is opposing it saying the structure was safe.
Noting that both Tamil Nadu and the Supreme Court have not agreed to Kerala's demand, the Kerala Chief Minister had recently said that he wanted an internationally acclaimed panel of experts to study the strength of the dam.
Vijayan had also said that the neighbouring state's support was essential to resolve the matter.