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'Tamil Nadu will send police to protect Mullaiperiyar'

Chennai 28 May 2012, Vol 3 Issue 21

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said Sunday the Tamil Nadu Police would be sent to protect the Mullaiperiyar Dam in Kerala.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said the state would deploy its forces at Mullaiperiyar Dam if the Kerala government did not allow the closure of holes drilled in the dam, and if the centre did not deploy the Central Industrial Security Force(CISF) at the site.

Jayalalithaa has expressed concern at Kerala’s recalcitrant attitude

The letter, released to the media Sunday, said: "… if the Government of Kerala persists with this recalcitrant attitude and if the Government of India does not respond to my request for the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force, the Government of Tamil Nadu will have no option but to deploy its own Police Force to guard the Mullaiperiyar Dam in the area leased out to Tamil Nadu."

She said the Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee chaired by Justice A.S.Anand, that was looking into the safety of the dam, had ordered a series of tests to assess its structural stability including vertical drilling of holes to extract the core.

"The Government of Kerala has been preventing the officials of Tamil Nadu from closing these drilled holes, in spite of the clear directions given by the Empowered Committee to close the holes. The Government of Tamil Nadu has also taken up the matter with the Government of Kerala but to no avail," Jayalalithaa said.

Stressing the importance of closing the vertical holes before the onset of the monsoon rains Jayalalithaa said: "The attempt of the Government of Kerala to prevent us from filling the drilled holes appears to be a ploy intended to ensure that the structural stability of the Dam is weakened, especially in the light of the report of the Empowered Committee which has concluded that the Dam is structurally, seismically and hydrologically safe and the water level could be raised to 142 ft."

She charged the Kerala government of using its police to prevent Tamil Nadu engineers from carrying out routine maintenance.

She also referred to her earlier letters to Manmohan Singh requesting deployment of the CISF to safeguard the dam.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj.

While it is located in Kerala, the control of the dam is with Tamil Nadu and its waters serve the state.

Tamil Nadu wants the dam's storage capacity to be increased from the current 136 feet (41.5 metres) to 142 feet (43 metres) as per a Supreme Court order, while Kerala wants a new dam and control over it. - IANS

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