Staff Reporter

Durai Murugan says the State is seeking legal justice

KOTTAYAM: Tamil Nadu Minister for Public Works Durai Murugan on Thursday visited the Mullaperiyar dam. His visit comes against the backdrop of the situation arising out of the rising water level in the reservoir.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mr. Durai Murugan said the Tamil Nadu Government was expecting an amicable solution to the Mullaperiyar issue and the State was only seeking legal justice on the issue.

The Minister said he was not entitled to comment on the security threat to the dam as he was not an expert. He, however, pointed out that Kerala's contention on the security aspect was opposed by Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court and it was the contentions of Tamil Nadu which were finally accepted by the court. Mr. Durai Murugan who arrived at the boat-landing strip at Thekkady was confronted by scores of people from Vandiperiyar and nearby areas who have been living under constant threat on account of the safety aspect ever since the water level crossed the 136-foot mark in the reservoir. As they shouted `go back' at the Minister, his own followers who accompanied him shouted back in favour of their leader. The scene was soon brought under control by the police who arrived in large numbers. The scene was, in fact, an extension of an earlier incident in which the film actor Devan had called upon some protesters to heed to the demands of Tamil Nadu. The actor said the very fact that the Mullaperiyar agreement agreed for a lease period of 999 years pointed to the fact that the structure would stand for 1,000 years. His statement enraged the protesters, who turned restive. It was at this juncture that the Minister arrived.