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Updated: November 10, 2009 11:16 IST

Damage to Moolathara dam an eye-opener to Tamil Nadu: VS

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan.
The Hindu Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan.

Chief Minister V.S.Achuthanandan said the damage to the Moolathara Dam in Chittur taluk of Palakkad district following heavy inflow of water released from the Aliyar dam with out any notice on Sunday should be an eye-opener to Tamil Nadu government, especially in the case of Mullaperiyar dam.

The Chief Minister was talking to reporters at the Government Guest House here on Monday afternoon. Mr. Achuthanandan said the people’s apprehension and concern over the stability and safety aspects of the Mullapperiyar dam have gone up in the backdrop of the damage to the Moolathara dam.

He said the reported release of water from the Aliyar Dam with out any prior notice, led to a sudden spurt in the water level of Chittoorpuzha, ultimately resulting in the breach of dam, wreaking havoc in its downstream reaches.

Mr Achuthanandan said Mullpperiyar dam is older than the Moolathara dam and naturally, the heartbeat of nearly 40 lakh people residing in the five districts situated in its downstream reaches have gone up with Sunday’s mishap.

He also expressed hope that the Moolathara dam mishap would open the eyes of Tamil Nadu government that has been maintaining the view that there is nothing wrong in raising the height of Mullapperiyar dam from 136 ft to 152 ft.

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has been maintaining the view that the dam would be safe for many centuries. Ironically, he had taken such a stand sidelining the scientific findings of various expert committees on the safety of the dam, Mr Achuthanandan alleged.

He said the attitude of sidelining facts in order to protect `vested’ interests amounted to harassment of the people.

The Chief Minister said the people residing in five districts in the downstream reaches of Mullpperiyar dam have been living in constant fear of the water stored in their own reservoir. In this context, the State government was bound to ensure adequate protection and safety to the life and property of the people and the Centre too had extended support to it, he added.

Mr Achuthandan said Tamil Nadu has also been consciously sidelining the agreement made way back in 1979 for constructing a new dam in Mullapperiyar. Reports submitted by various scientific committees appointed by the Union Government too have recommended construction of a new dam. The State Government would go ahead with its plan to construct a new dam in Mullaperiyar, he added.

The Chief Minister further said the State Government was ready to supply water to Tamil Nadu.

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