Special Correspondent

  • Raising water level of dam will endanger the lives of people
  • 'Kerala not against giving its waters to Tamil Nadu'

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water Resources Minister N. K. Premachandran read out a statement in the Assembly on Wednesday placing on record Kerala's grave concern over Tamil Nadu's attitude on the Mullaperiyar dam issue. In the statement, made under Rule 300 of the Rules and Procedures of the House, Mr. Premachandran said Kerala had never been against giving its waters to Tamil Nadu.

    "However, considering the safety factor and the fears of the people, we could not permit raising of the water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir. The Kerala Government views with seriousness the unilateral stand being adopted by Tamil Nadu, without taking into account public anxiety, in the issue that is now before the Prime Minister," he said. Mr. Premachandran described the chain of events that had occasioned the statement in the Assembly. He said the State Government had sent a team of the Dam Safety Committee to examine whether the tremors experienced at Thannikkudi in the vicinity of the 110-year-old Mullaperiyar dam on August 18 had caused any damage to the dam. The team found certain damages on the outer surface of the dam. As more studies were required, an irrigation executive engineer was entrusted with the responsibility of measuring the water seepage in the dam for 10 consecutive days.

    He said the Tamil Nadu officials manning the dam did not permit the Kerala engineer to carry out his duty. They said no data pertaining to the dam could be given to Kerala without permission from top authorities in Tamil Nadu.

    Tamil Nadu did not respond to the letters from the Kerala Government seeking permission to gather the seepage details of the dam. On the contrary, Tamil Nadu sent a ministerial-level letter demanding that the two States jointly deploy police personnel to ensure the security of the dam.

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