Technical experts of Surpeme Court-appointed Empowered Committee, C.D. Thatte and D.K. Mehta, began inspection of the Mullaperiyar Dam on Saturday. Officials from Kerala, who accompanied them to the dam from Thekkady, are staying away from the process over differences with the experts on test loactions.

According to Irrigation Chief Engineer P. Lathika, who accompanied the Committee members, the difference of opinion began with the locations marked for the non-destructive sonic test.

“We brought to the attention of the Committee members that Tamil Nadu has conducted sonic testing at only three locations in a single block along the middle of the dam as against the direction to mark locations covering three different blocks – on either side of the dam and the middle,” she said.

Ms. Lathika said that differences with panel's members exacerbated as the inspection progressed. "As they declined to (listen) to us, we were forced to stay away from the inspection midway through," she said.

“We protested when one of the EC members tried to give instructions on the repair works and pointed out that status quo should be maintained as instructed by the court,” she said.

At the time of reporting, the panel members are visiting the gallery of the dam while the Kerala officials were staying back.