The Mullaperiyar Agitation Council, on Thursday, condemned the action of the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department in denying permission to a Kerala Engineering Research Institute team to survey the Mullaperiyar dam.
The survey is required to prepare a report on decommissioning the dam and submit it to the Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court on the dam.
The team reached Kumily on Wednesday morning with equipment to survey the baby dam and the spillway area. But the department said its permission had not been sought and hence the survey could not be conducted.
C.P. Roy, chairman of the council, said the department's action was unfortunate, and the Tamil Nadu government had a hidden agenda in torpedoing any move to decommission the dam. It had no concern for the lives of thousands of people living downstream who would be in danger if anything happened to the old dam.
He said an emergency meeting of the executive committee of the council had been called for Friday. The council, if needed, would extend the agitation to other places and a campaign would be launched throughout the State.
He said a few Tamil Nadu political parties had attempted to show black flags at Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the inter-State border, near Palakkad, to divert the attention of people from a genuine cause.
“The State government should speed up the work on decommissioning the dam and file a report to the Empowered Committee,” Mr. Roy said.
He said Tamil Nadu's attempt was to create a wedge between the people of the two States, who had been living in harmony in Idukki. “Such a move will only expose the fragile stand of Tamil Nadu on an issue that raises a threat to lives, including those of people from that State who have been living for generations in the affected area,” he said.
A relay hunger strike being organised by the council at Karuntharuvi Chappathu entered 1,725 days on Thursday.
Keywords: Mullaperiyar dam