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Updated: January 3, 2012 13:37 IST

Kerala slams attitude of dam panel's technical members

J. Venkatesan
Comment (26)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

“Their report cannot be considered as views of the panel”

Alleging that the attitude of the two technical members, C.D. Thatte and D.K. Mehta, during the inspection of the Mullaperiyar dam last week was unfair and prejudicial to the State's interests, Kerala on Monday filed an application stating that their report could not considered as the views of the empowered committee.

Besides the two technical members, the empowered committee comprises former Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand, Justice K.T. Thomas, retired Supreme Court Judge, representing Kerala, and Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, retired Supreme Court judge, representing Tamil Nadu.

The committee is to consider the inspection report of the dam and various other reports on Tuesday at its internal meeting.

In its application Kerala said that while inspecting the main Mullaperiyar dam, Dr. Thatte enquired about the status of core boring. This work, which was to be carried out a year back, had not yet started. “We expressed our doubt as to how the report of the Empowered Committee can be finalised without getting the results of the most important test of finding the strength parameters of the ‘lime surkhi concrete' [test]. Dr. Thatte did not give a satisfactory reply.”

Further, it said: “When we pointed out that Kerala was not being properly informed about the visits of experts for deciding and carrying out tests, Dr. Thatte became furious. He remarked that if another committee is constituted in future, we shall consider your request. This was a very humiliating reply.”

Kerala said: “The two members then inspected the Earth dam and the Baby dam. Instructions were issued to the Tamil Nadu engineers to uproot all trees standing on the earth dam to provide rubble pitching on the upstream up to 165 ft on the reservoir side to form the slopes of the Earth dam, to provide concrete wearing coat over the Earth dam etc. These works are to be taken up and completed on a war footing.”

Kerala alleged: “To our great shock, Dr. Thatte advised the Tamil Nadu engineers that ‘this is the manner in which you have to build your case before the empowered committee'.”

It said that the action of Dr. Thatte and Mr. Mehta in advising and directing Tamil Nadu to carry out extensive repair and strengthening measures not covered by or intended in the orders of the Supreme Court had to be viewed as overstepping their jurisdiction.

Friends , Am a keralite now studying in Tamil Nadu.In that case am being part of the states and am able to feel and recognize the thoughts of both. To my knowledge , keralites keep justifying themselves and Tamilians keep justifying the stand of TN.In the due course think wat would happen if the dam collapses.That wil just put a full stop to all the debates and kick start just tears and pain everywhere.Its going to affect both TN and Kerala if something goes wrong and to add up , its goin to collapse the eco balance of the earth.If the case is that kerala is ready to provide the same amount of water at the same cost ,wi dont we all Indians join hands and stand together to re build a new dam considering the security reasons for the least. Am putting forward my comment as an INDIAN friends .

from:  Alphonse dominic
Posted on: Jan 6, 2012 at 22:53 IST

The Kerala state has an av width of 70 kms only with Arabian sea in the west. A minimum flow in the rivers is to be maintained to arrest the salt water intrusion into the main land. At present the salt water intrudes upto half the width of the state and one can see drinking water supply tankers running length and breadth of kerala, the so called water rich state.Often the people of TN refers the water flowing in the river as wastage into the sea but it is essential for the environmental balance which has already been upset in Kerala.

from:  Sasidharan S
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 17:56 IST

As per the interstate agreement on Parambikulam Aliyar Project(PAP) the lower Sholayar dam in Kerala has to be brought to the Full Reservoir Level(FRL) by 28th of February of each year by letting water from upper Sholayar dam in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu had been violating this condition with out respecting the inter state agreement and the complaint of Kerala regarding this was not considered by TN. The water from Parambikulam flows to TN strictly as per agreement! Imagine reversing the positions of both states in the case of Mullaperiyar!

from:  S S Kartha
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 17:42 IST

@Jacob, It is not easy for you to stop giving water to Tamil Nadu like Karnataka, as this dam is constructed only for Tamil Nadu. Also you started raising this issue immediately after constructed the idukki dam, built only for electricity generation.

from:  Prabu
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 17:38 IST

Mr. Jaya Prakash....first of all let me tell you I in no way was saying Kerala should not supply water to TN...I have great love for all states of India and know fully well that good relations between states is beneficial and necessary for the people and the country. My point was that TN should stop alleging that Kerala's intention is to not supply water to TN. That's why I said if we did not want to give you water, we would have stopped supplying a long time ago. Kerala supplies water to TN from a total of 5 dams. The only one there is a concern about is Mullaperiyar.

from:  jacob
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 15:39 IST

I find it peculiar that articles in which Kerala assures TN of the same amount of water supply or today's article about Kerala saying it has no problem with joint control of the dam with TN never receives any comment from Tamilians. They only seem to be interested in commenting on articles in which Kerala says anything about the safety of the dam.

from:  George
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 15:31 IST

The suggestion that Kerala sell its unused water to Tamil Nadu (it was also discussed in the Kerala Legislature about a year ago) would be unique in world history! It would also fulfill Winston Churchill's prophesy that in independent India people would be demanding money for water from each other! What about the monsoons? Should TN pay Kerala for the rains or sue her for the floods? For lack of opportunities, thousands of students and workers from Kerala go to T.N. annually! Should Kerala pay TN for educating-employing her citizens? Or, TN pay Kerala for redressing her labor shortage? The Pattinam excavations have documented the common ancestry (in historic terms, very recent) of Tamils and Keralites! I wonder what our ancestors would think about their offspring's' wisdom and kindred spirit?

from:  Thiru. V. Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 13:08 IST

All Indians should respect the Supreme Court and duly appointed central commitees. Those who cast unproved allegations against them are anti-national as well as in contempt of court. It is a big lapse on the part of the central government if such separatist elements are not prosecuted for sedition. In this issue certain people have proved that they dont care for scientists or experts. They adamantly believe in cinema directors and local politicians and rabble-rousers.

from:  K Ramachandran
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 11:52 IST

The British never ever thought then that they would have to go from here for good nor that the regions would form part of two linguistic states. There is no point in talking nonsense about a dam built to last 50 years and an agreement of pre-independence period for 999 years which lacks substance. The core issue is that Tamil Nadu needs water and they want it almost free of cost from Kerala for infinite years come what may. How many lives would be lost in the event of a disaster etc are not matters of interest to the policy makers in TN whereas if the Govt of Kerala takes a stand to rebuild a dilapidated structure in the best interests of its people what is wrong in it?
We are a Federal Republic and each state has its right to utilise its resources to the best interest of the state but at the same time keeping the best interests of the Nation also. Coal rich states sell it to the other states and make revenue and why not water.

from:  C P VIJAYAN
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 09:58 IST

The advice given by the technical experts was expected of any technical expert visiting any project site. The Tamil Nadu Government should have done this long time ago. Keralites realize that they can not win the dam dispute by technical merit. So they resort to political propaganda and hope to succeed, possibly, with the central intervention. Their aim is to break the long lease on Mullaperiyar.

from:  vijay
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 09:35 IST

If Kerala government is really interested in the safety of people, can they issue an order for people living in the Kerala seashores to live 2KMS away from the shore to save them in case of Tsunami?

from:  Raj
Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 at 04:31 IST

kerala wastes a lot of precious water by letting it flow into sea. these people will never utilize the water because their "zindabad " workforce will never toil hard in fields to use that water for agriculture. Their real intention is to annul the water usage and dam control at present with tamilnadu and let the water go into sea as is the case with lots of west flowing kerala rivers.

from:  Ananthanarayanan
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 23:03 IST

The root cause of all the problems is water is considered a state property and not a national asset. Unless this situation is changed the upper riperian states will continue to care 2 hoots about the directions of the courts as well as centre. Karnataka is a glaring example flouting all directions with impunity in the cauvery water sharing.

from:  J S Raman
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 23:03 IST

I cannot imagine why Kerala need to put up with all this. The contract with the Tamil Nadu Government is null and void. It was signed by the Colonists. It expired when India got independence. Also there is no 999 year contract anywhere in the world. They have to sign a 99 year lease and extend it at the end of the period. How the apex court is involved in all this when the contract itself is null and void. Besides no one is going to take responsibility if the dam breaks and a tragedy ensures. So why waste time. Parkinson's law is very clear about this. If there is a chance something could break, it will most certainly break at the wrong time ( the rainy season ). So Kerala should start building a new dam immediately. That is their duty to protect their people.

from:  S Krishnan
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 22:54 IST

Instead of blaming each other and shilly-shallying this case, both states leaders should sit together and discuss mutually for arriving at an amicable solution. Here, who is winning and who is loosing, that is not the issue, safety of the people of Kerala and water for Tamil Nadu. One important thing, Honourable leaders of TN should realize that in Kerala, around 10 lakhs Tamil people have been living for long years. Same is the case in TN. Lot of malayalee people have been settled there in TN. If we all think that we are Indians and not malayalee or tamiliyan, then this issue can be resolved. All are aware that, both states are inter-reliant on many things. This century old harmonious and cordial relationship between two states must continue further. Mutual hatred,hostility and enemity won't bring any positive results only exacerbate this issue more more complicated. Instead of taking a narrow minded approach, all should think in broader sense. 'SAFETY FIRST'

from:  Rajendran Chandrasekharannair
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 17:08 IST

Kerala wants to build a dam in their teritory using there own funds. Why are they even asking Tamil Nadu? If TN raises issue of water they can simply say that "we will continue to provide the same amout of water as it is now probaly with a new agrement in place". I don't why would TN object to this.

from:  Kalyan
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 16:54 IST

Mr.Jacob...I am not defending any one...but would like to ask you, what do you mean by..'we would have stopped giving you water a long time ago like Karnataka did'...... remember we are living in India, and bound by the law of the land, no state has the right to act against the interest of the nation, we have law to take care of that. I think you have confused yourself with political decesions.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 16:52 IST

Yes, some experts may say that Mullaperiayar dam will go on perpetually for ever and we believe it ! Even if all the experts in the field say that Koodamkulam Powerstation is safe we are not going to believe it because the former is in Kerala and the latter in Tamil Nadu ! An unequal 999 year agreement between a subjugated weak vassal Ruler and the colonial power for a pittance for sacrificing the State' own interest in water should not be questioned. Go, ahead, milk the water and electricity at the expence of that State and shout, you have power !

from:  Ayy
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 16:44 IST

As an Indian we should obey the SC order. If we are not having faith on
it, at-lest states should come up with technical exports to examine the
DAM, again the team should be distributed across from different states
to avoid biased views. but in this case, whats surety that Kerala and TN
will accept the technical team's opinion?

from:  Sankar
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 16:29 IST

The best way to resolve this issue peacefully would have been a discussion.It is sad that the government of tamilnadu is reluctant to take part in a discussion.

from:  Indrani
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 14:30 IST

@Neearul...if Kerala did not want to give you water we would have stopped giving you water a long time ago like Karnataka did. So please stop making this dumb point again and again.

from:  jacob
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 14:14 IST

None of the states would be satisfied unless and untill the decision is in their favor. In my view the only way to resolve this without any future problems is to form a committee with members representing political parties of both states and they should get into a discussion including the representation of the stakeholders from both states.

from:  Maheshwaran
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 12:14 IST

The best solution is both states work together to come with an amicable solution that addresses the water needs for Tamil Nadu and safety concerns of Kerala. What I don't understand is why Kerala is bound by an agreement between the British and Tranvancore. Tranvancore is only a portion of Kerala. The conditions in which the agreement was signed was forced. So how can that be valid, may be some one can explain that. There are no fool proof method of checking the safety of the Dam, no sound technology exists. It is possible to scan using different technologies, sonic, may be nuclear or magnetic scans. Each technology has its own issues. For most extend that is going to give information on cracks developed. Still we taking a major bet what assumptions or
conditions were considered during the design. Even if it is done properly for that time, geological conditions have changed, seismic conditions have changed. Even the retention of the water itself will have changed the parameters.

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 11:15 IST

It looks that Kerala government is taking a very intransigent attitude to scuttle every action taken by Central Government and Supreme Court. Why do they always suspect these experts are biased against Kerala. Do the Kerala government have no faith in Supreme Court? It is for the experts to decide what all tests should be conducted. And the overall expert opinion is that the structure is strong and cannot collapse. Even then Kerala raises objections. It is definitely not connected with safety of the dam or safety of the people living downstream. It is because of some influential vested interests which are dead against raising the water level in the reservoir. Probably many of the encroached forest land may submerged and the land must be under influential people where they must be doing some lucrative agriculture. In all probability Ganja.

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 11:10 IST

We the people of peace lover of Tamil Nadu does not know the fact why the Kerala government is so adamant even after the expert committee submit its report stating that Mullaperiyar dam is not at risk by earth quake . If the Kerala government is really interested in sharing water with Tamilnadu why don't think of other option to strengthen the existing dam and show your good intention to Tamil people that you are not for demolishing Mullaiperiyar dam for getiing more water to increase power generation to Iddukki dam which also come under risk category in the region. Please don't confuse people and nurture regional feeling which lead unnecessary violent and loss of valuable human lives and property.

from:  Neearul
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 09:23 IST

The technical experts of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court to check the dame are doing their duty. In what way they are benefitted if they took a partition attitude against one state?

from:  A. Seshagiri
Posted on: Jan 3, 2012 at 08:51 IST
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