Jaya asks PM to act on dam row
Says Kerala is preventing TN from carrying out urgent repairs to Mullaperiyar
Barely a few hours before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left New Delhi for Myanmar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha again sought his “immediate action” to help redress certain urgent issues vis-à-vis the Mullaperiyar dam row with Kerala.
“Tamil Nadu needs to urgently do some civil works before the onset of the monsoon to ensure the reservoir’s structural integrity,” Jayalalitha said in her letter to Singh on Sunday. She requested the prime minister to advise the Kerala government “not to prevent officials of Tamil Nadu from carrying out the essential works of closing the drilled holes on the Mullaperiyar dam.”
Following the Supreme Court’s directive to the Empowered Committee headed by retired Justice A S Anand to study the safety aspects of the dam, vertical holes had to be drilled on the dam for the core stability test while assessing its structural stability, she pointed out.
“Now, the holes will have to be closed in view of the approaching southwest monsoon,” the chief minister wrote. Despite clear instructions from the EC to close those drilled holes as they have completed their study and also submitted their report to the Supreme Court, Kerala was “preventing” Tamil Nadu officials from doing their job, she alleged.
Stating that it was necessary to fill the vertical holes to prevent any damage to the dam, Jayalalitha suspected a ploy by Kerala in “preventing us” from completing the essential works to weaken the dam.
This was more so when the EC had concluded in its report that the dam “is structurally, seismically and hydrologically safe and the water-level could be raised to 142 feet,” contended Jayalalitha.
Though the Kerala police had been stationed at the dam site only to protect it, the Kerala government had been “using its police” to stop Tamil Nadu engineers from doing even routine maintenance works, she said. “The attitude of the Kerala government is reprehensible and needs to be set right,” she emphasised.
Reminding Singh about her earlier requests to deploy Central Industrial Security Forces to safeguard the Mullaperiyar dam, Jayalalitha hoped that at least now the Centre would accede to Tamil Nadu’s request in this regard.
“If the Government of India did not respond to our request to deploy the CISF, the government of Tamil Nadu will have no option but to deploy its own police force to guard the Mullaperiyar dam in the area leased out to Tamil Nadu,” she said.