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Chennithala wants public debate over Athirappilly

Chennithala wants public debate over Athirappilly

Thiruvananthapuram: Amidst "differences" in ruling LDF over implementation of a hydro-electric project in ecologically sensitive Athirappilly in Kerala, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala Monday said a public debate over it was necessary to form a consensus.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme here, he said there were differences of opinion over the project both in LDF and opposition UDF and "the differences are more in LDF".

"In view of the differences prevailing in both the fronts, the matter should be consulted with leaders of parties and environmentalists. A unilateral decision will not benefit the state," he said.

CPI, the second largest partner in the ruling LDF, had come out against the statement of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Power Minister Kadakampally Surendran favouring the project yesterday.

On the Mullaperiyar dam issue, Chennithala said Vijayan's stand would only harm the state's interest.

"The UDF stands by the unanimous resolution passed by the Assembly seeking construction of a new dam in place of the existing reservoir considering its safety," he said, adding it would not be good to proceed violating the contents and spirit of the resolution.

Vijayan had said there was no meaning for Kerala to keep "unnecessary" concern over the safety of the present more than a century-old dam.

Chennithala also said UDF did not agree with the new government's move to wind up the Devaswom Recruitment Board, set up by the previous government.

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