Minister for Water Resources, N.K. Premachandran has said that the government will appoint an Expert Committee to go into the causes of the breach in the right bank protection works of the Moolathara Dam and suggest measures to prevent such accidents in future.
After visiting the breached Dam site here on Sunday, the Minister told `The Hindu’ that the government will also pay compensation to the people whose houses and agriculture crops were damaged in the flood.
He said that this incident has once again justified the anxiety of Kerala about the safety of old and huge dams still in use in the State.
If a comparatively new and small dam like Moolathara, with just 12 feet water level, could not withstand the impact of water reaching it due to heavy rain, then how can centuries old dam could still be in operation, he asked.
The Minister said, though Tamil Nadu government had informed that the Aliyar Dam will be opened and Kerala side opened the shutters of the Moolthara Dam as a precaution, it could not prevent the breaching of the Dam.
The Dam was strengthened and the regulator cum bridge was constructed as part of the inter-state Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) agreement between Kerala and Tamil Nadu in 1970s.
Despite that, when huge quantity of water flows down, the Dam structures cannot withstand its pressure, the Minister said.
Meanwhile the former Chittur M.L.A, K. Krishnakutty, has demanded an inquiry into the failure of the Kerala officials in opening the emergency shutters of the Dam to save it from breach.
He said that both the Kerala and Tamil Nadu officials are responsible for the incident. So a high level inquiry has to be conducted to find out those responsible for it and take action against them.
Kerala Congress (Joseph) District President, K.V. Mani, in a statement here on Sunday, has said that the releasing of huge quantity of water from PAP system is a violation of the agreement by Tamil Nadu. This has caused great loss to the farmers, as hundreds of acres of agriculture land was submerged in the flood water.
He has also demanded an inquiry into the action by Tamil Nadu in releasing huge quantity of water from Aliyar Dam, without enough advance warning.