The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday, in a special sitting, adopted a unanimous resolution, calling upon the Kerala government to make suitable amendments to the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2006 to enable the water level of the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam to be raised to 142 feet.
Moved by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the resolution also asked the Kerala government not to create hurdles to the execution of the remaining strengthening measures for facilitating the water level to be raised to 152 ft eventually.
Under no circumstances would the State give up its rights. The Central government should deploy Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for the protection of the dam in view of the tense situation prevailing in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Though it was condemnable that the Kerala government had a resolution adopted in the Kerala Assembly on December 9 to demand that the water level be lowered to 120 ft, it would not be a proper approach to condemn the Kerala legislature, which had been created under the Constitution. Instead, the sense of regret of Tamil Nadu's people was expressed through the motion, according to the text of the resolution.
Ms Jayalalithaa, who initiated the debate on the resolution, also wrapped it up. In her initial and concluding speeches, she explained the historical account of the Mullaperiyar dam issue and the works carried out by the State government to strengthen the dam during 1980-1994.
A suspicion had arisen that the Kerala government was carrying on the “mischievous campaign” regarding the dam safety possibly for producing more hydropower. The original plan of the Kerala government was to produce 780 megawatt through the Idukki dam, located 50 km downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam.
But, as the dam was not getting enough water, the planned power production could not be achieved. “If there is no Mullaperiyar dam, the entire water will reach Idukki,” she added.