The Government of Tamil Nadu has decided not to participate in the “informal discussion” on the Mullaperiyar dam dispute in New Delhi on Monday.
Quoting Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, the decision was announced in a press release issued by M. Saikumar, Public Works Secretary, on Saturday.
Sources say the decision was made as there was no official communication from the Union Water Resources Ministry on the discussion. The message was conveyed to the office of Mr. Saikumar over phone.
Though it was intimated to the government that the Secretary of the Union Ministry would hold the proposed discussion on Monday evening, what was not communicated to the State was the structure and nature of the meeting. Tamil Nadu officials were not sure whether the Centre would have a tripartite meeting involving Tamil Nadu and Kerala or whether it would meet officials of the two States separately.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his reply to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, had conveyed that he had advised the Union Ministry to arrange an early meeting between the officials of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to sort out the dam dispute issues and allay genuine concerns.
When contacted over phone, Dhruv Vijai Singh, Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry, told The Hindu that he was not sure about the details of the discussion. “But, we are definitely planning to hold a meeting on a date suitable to both States.”
Empowered Panel meet
The Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court will also meet on Monday. Though it does not include Secretaries of the two States, senior officials are planning to be in New Delhi as they may have to be present at the meeting of the Committee, if required.
Reacting to reports of untoward incidents at the dam site, the Tamil Nadu government's PWD Secretary has written to K. Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary of the Kerala government, seeking adequate protection to the properties and officials who are stationed in the area.