Defending his stance on the Mullaperiyar issue, Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph said here on Friday that he was only fulfilling his duty of informing the people about the facts already with the authorities.
Participating in a Meet-the-Press programme, Mr. Joseph said he had come across criticism from Left leaders on his stance on the Mullaperiyar issue. The reports of IIT, Roorkee, and IIT, Delhi, have
pointed the new threat perceptions to the structure. These reports were already with the government and he had the duty to tell the people about the facts given in the expert reports. While the
report of IIT, Roorkee, talks about the challenge to the structure from seismic activity, that of IIT, Delhi, refers to threat from incessant rain, he said.
These reports were submitted during the LDF period, and the authorities should have initiated Dam-Break Analysis. But, they slept on it, he alleged. It was only the UDF government that has now asked IIT, Roorkee, to conduct a study, he said.
Mr. Joseph said reports that had appeared in a section of the media on the AG's deposition in the High Court on the Mullaperiyar issue did not reflect the official stance of the government. “The affidavit being filed in the High Court next week would reflect the official position he said. The government has taken steps to bring down the water level in Idukki reservoir so that in the event of any disaster, the dam would be able to hold the waters from Mullaperiyar, Mr. Joseph said. However, the reported statement of the AG on the strength of the Mullaperiyar dam and the adverse comment in the media did not reflect the position of the government, he said.
The Kerala Congress (M) leader reiterated his call for a day-long fast on December 5 when the empowered committee on Mullaperiyar constituted by the Supreme Court holds its session. “This was the Gandhian way to effect a change of heart of Tamil Nadu leaders,” he said.
KC(M) leader K.M. Mani would observe a day-long fast at Chappath in Idukki district on the day, he said.
Mr. Joseph said the only issue that came in the way of construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar was environmental clearance from the Central authorities.