Coming down heavily on the Kerala government's action preventing Tamil Nadu officials from closing holes drilled for a test on the Mullaperiyar dam (located in Kerala), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that her government might have to deploy its police to protect the dam in the area leased out to Tamil Nadu.

Stating this in her letter, Ms. Jayalalithaa, however, qualified it by saying that if the Kerala government persisted with the “recalcitrant attitude” and the Union government did not respond to her request for deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), “the government of Tamil Nadu will have no option but to deploy its own police force” to guard the dam.

Requesting Dr. Singh to advise Kerala to allow the “essential work of closing the drilled holes” on the dam, she said the Kerala authorities stopped Tamil Nadu officials from doing the work in spite of the “clear directions” given by the Empowered Committee to close the holes. The matter was taken up with the Kerala government but to no avail.

She pointed out that the Kerala police had been stationed at the dam site only for guarding the dam. The Kerala government had given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that it would provide necessary protection to the dam.

The holes had to be drilled on the dam as a sequel to directions of the Empowered Committee, constituted by the Supreme Court. A series of tests was carried out to assess the structural stability of the dam and they included the core stability test, containing extraction of the core. On completion of the tests, the holes had to be closed, in view of the approaching [south west] monsoon.

“It is necessary to fill the vertical holes before the onset of the monsoon so as to prevent any damage to the dam. The attempt of the government of Kerala to prevent us from filling the drilled holes appears to be a ploy intended to ensure that the structural stability of the dam is weakened, especially in the light of the report of the Empowered Committee which has concluded that the dam is structurally, seismically and hydrologically safe and the water level could be raised to 142 ft,” Ms. Jayalalithaa stated.

Terming reprehensible the Kerala government's attitude of preventing even routine maintenance works, she adverted to her earlier letters and memorandum to Dr. Singh in December last in which she had sought CISF deployment to safeguard the dam.