J. Venkatesan

Seeks dismissal of Tamil Nadu's application filed in Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Kerala Government has strongly opposed Tamil Nadu's plea for deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force to guard the Mullaperiyar dam, in the Supreme Court.

In a counter affidavit to Tamil Nadu's application, Kerala has said that the State police is in charge of the security of the dam as well as its upstream and downstream portions, all of which lie within the State.

"This has been the position all along and has worked and is working satisfactorily," it has said, seeking dismissal of Tamil Nadu's application.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan on Thursday will hear Tamil Nadu's application, filed in a suit challenging the law enacted by Kerala to nullify the Supreme Court judgment directing it to allow Tamil Nadu to raise the dam water level to 142 feet.

Charge denied

Kerala has denied Tamil Nadu's allegation that its officials and Ministers are making provocative statements. It is in no way responsible for the alleged damage caused to a portion of the dam parapet.

"Due to natural wear and tear, a small portion of the plastering of the parapet of the dam got detached and fell. Tamil Nadu has alleged vandalism. The matter has been enquired into by the Idukki Collector and his report shows it is part of normal wear and tear," the counter affidavit has said.

"No riparian rights"

"The Mullaperiyar dam is built across the Periyar, which is an intra-State river. Tamil Nadu has no riparian rights on the river's waters. The Chief Minister of Kerala has suggested a new dam to meet the requirements of Tamil Nadu to irrigate its area while protecting the legitimate interests of Kerala. The dam, made of lime surkhi, is unsafe as the structure is not homogeneous."

Australian example

Citing an Australian example, the counter affidavit has said: "In a similar situation, the Australian authorities decommissioned the old Victoria dam, which supplied drinking water to the city of Perth, in 1990.

"New dam feasible"

It has denied that construction of a new dam is not feasible. "A new dam, which can meet the legitimate requirements of Tamil Nadu, while not compromising the concerns of Kerala, is feasible."