Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 09, 2006
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Water
Industry & Economy - Courts/Legal Issues
States - Kerala
Kerala Cabinet for 2-day Assembly session
The session to be held on March 14 and 15 to assess the options available to prevent Tamil Nadu from raising the reservoir level from 136 feet to 142 feet.
The Finance Minister to visit New Delhi to meet Election Commission officials to discuss the implementation of pay revision.
Thiruvananthapuram , March 8
The State Cabinet has recommended to the Governor that a special two-day sitting of the Assembly be convened to discuss the situation arising out of a Supreme Court directive on raising the reservoir level at Mullaperiyar.
Announcing this here, the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, told reporters that an all-party meeting held in Kochi on Monday had decided that the session be held on March 14 and 15 to assess the options available in the light of neighbouring Tamil Nadu having been allowed to raise the reservoir level from 136 feet to 142 feet.
The special session seeks to bring forth an amendment to the Kerala Dam Safety Act 2003 so that the State's interests in the long-pending dispute are protected. Raising the water level at the century-old dam is perceived as a potential threat to lives and property in at least five downstream districts.
It is learnt that the special session would deal exclusively with the Mullaperiyar issue as the Election Commission has already announced the schedule for the three-phase election on April 22, 29 and May 3.
The Chief Minister said the Election Commission would be approached afresh with a request to revisit its decision forbidding the State Government from signing the Rs 1,500-crore Smart City project in Kochi. The State Government was legally bound to sign along the dotted line, Mr Chandy told reporters. The decision to sign the contract with Dubai Internet City had been announced much before the model code of conduct would come into play, he said.
In any case, the Election Commission ban was restricted just to the act of signing the contract. The State Government could go ahead with other formalities for implementing the project.
Mr Chandy also said that the Finance Minister, Mr Vakkom Purushothaman, would visit New Delhi to meet Election Commission officials to discuss the implementation of pay revision for State Government employees and teachers. This is another major policy announcement that had come under the model code of conduct scanner inviting the wrath of the commission.
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