The comment of Tamil Nadu Public Works Minister K.V. Ramalingam that the State government will oppose a new dam at Mullaperiyar is ill-motivated and uncalled for, the Mullaperiyar Agitation Council has said.
In a statement here on Wednesday, council chairman C.P. Roy questioned how a Minister holding a responsible post could make such an ‘‘irresponsible'' comment at a time when the expert committee of the empowered committee appointed by the Supreme Court was undertaking serious studies on the century-old dam to asses its present condition.
The empowered committee had representatives from the two States and the Central government. It was not a one-sided panel and there was no justification for the Minister's comments, the statement said.
The demand to raise the water level of the dam was nothing but to divert public attention and gain political mileage. The comment was made at a time when the monsoon season had started and the Kerala government had to make emergency arrangements in the downstream areas of the dam, it said.
‘‘The new dam is meant to provide water to Tamil Nadu and the council has no objection to it. But the council's primary concern is about the plight of thousands of people who are gripped with fear psychosis, especially when the monsoon season approaches,'' the statement said.
Inviting the Minister to visit the downstream portion of the dam, the council appealed to him to meet the people to know the ground realities. ‘‘It is for the Supreme Court to take a final decision. Making such a comment is meant to drive a wedge between the people of the two States who have been living in harmony for years,'' it said. A large number of people supporting the new dam were of Tamil origin who had been living in the affected areas, it said.
The Mullaperiyar relay hunger strike at Karuntharuvi Chappathu entered the 1,623rd day on Wednesday.
Keywords: Mullaperiyar dam