Kerala prevents NSG team from visiting Mullaperiyar dam

For the second day, Kerala officials did not allow Tamil Nadu PWD engineers to go to the dam

Updated - May 23, 2016 04:50 pm IST

Published - December 03, 2014 02:08 am IST - THENI:

For the second day on Tuesday, Kerala forest officials did not allow Tamil Nadu PWD engineers to go to the Mullaperiyar dam at Thekkadi. And they also prevented a team of the National Security Guard from visiting the dam.

Executive Engineers A. Soundaram and A. Madhavan, Sub-Divisional Officer Akbar Ali and Assistant Engineer Ramamuthy and workers, and the NSG team from Chennai, were stopped at the boat boarding point at 9.30 a.m. Till 1.30 p.m., they tried to persuade Kerala officials to grant them permission, but in vain.

When Commander P. Mohan, heading the NSG team, met Project Tiger Reserve (PTR) Deputy Director Sanjay Kumar and told him that the NSG Southern Region had informed the authorities of the visit of the team through email, Mr. Kumar replied that he did not receive any communication.

Within minutes, the commander proved that the NSG had indeed informed all the departments concerned and the Kerala Chief Secretary of the visit. Following this, Mr. Kumar half-heartedly permitted the team to proceed. However, when the team said the Tamil Nadu PWD arranged for a boat to reach the dam, he did not allow Tamil Nadu officials to operate the boat, insisting on identity cards and a list of workers.

The team had planned to return to Theni along with the PWD officials. After it was denied permission, it decided to stay at Thekkadi and visit the dam by road, through Vallakadavu, on Wednesday.

The PWD officials said Kerala should stick to the guidelines worked out at the inter-State meeting. It would be difficult to give temporary workers identity cards. Kerala had agreed to allow officials to visit the dam regularly without any restriction.

For the first time, the PWD engineers did not monitor the dam for two days on end. “Even during heavy floods, we had never failed to go to the dam for inspection. Now, we could not go because of the unannounced restrictions by Kerala,” said PWD officials. They decided not to go to the dam till further orders from the Tamil Nadu government.

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