Security at the Mullapperiyar dam site has been strengthened to avert any possible attack by extremists or saboteurs, Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran told the Assembly on Monday.

Responding to a calling attention motion from Roshy Augustine (KC-M), the Water Resources Minister said the government had conducted a security audit of all the 33 dams under the Water Resources Department following an alert from the Centre and placed the Mullapperiyar dam in the ‘A' category requiring the highest security cover. A police team with the necessary communication facilities was giving round-the-clock security cover to the dam and steps were being taken to prevent entry of miscreants into the dam site.

Police outposts were in place at Gavi and Thekkadi, two of the three points of entry into the dam site. The third entry point through Vandiperiyar was currently being looked after by the Forest guards. Steps would be taken to bring this entry point also under police security cover. One problem that the government faced in giving full security cover in the area was objection from the Tamil Nadu government to the presence of Kerala's police force in the area, Mr. Premachandran said.

Responding to another calling attention motion from V.J. Thankappan (CPI-M), Industries Minister Elamaram Karim said the State had submitted to the Centre a proposal for waiver of Rs.365 crore that primary handloom cooperatives and another Rs.262 crore that apex handloom societies had availed from banks and debt waiver package announced by the Union government. The State was exerting pressure on the Centre to sanction the package, he said.

Mr. Karim assured the member that the government would soon release Rs.5 crore to clear the rebate arrears and was working on an Income Support Scheme to provide relief to those employed in the handloom sector.

More In: Kerala | National