THEKKADY: Kerala has expressed its strong resentment to the demand to deploy CISF personnel at the Mullaiperiyar dam.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a review meeting on the dam situation here on Monday, Additional Chief Secretary of Kerala V J Kurian said the State government was against deployment of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the Mullaiperiyar dam, terming it an infringement of law and order. “Deployment of central security forces in Mullaiperiyar dam is nothing but an infringement of the law and order jurisdiction of the State government. We are completely against it,” he said.
Supervisory Committee Chairman ALV Nathan, who chaired the meeting along with Tamil Nadu representative M Saikumar, Principal Secretary of the PWD and other senior government officials, said that the Kerala government has also expressed their disagreement over the deployment of Tamil Nadu police at the century-old structure. “It was the first review meeting after the storage level in the dam crossed 142 feet. The key issues that dominated the discussions included security and safety issues,” he said.
The committee also deliberated on some recent untoward incidents reported at the dam site even as the Kerala representative assured that the police strength around the dam would be augmented while details of all visitors would be recorded in separate registers.
However, when asked if the panel broached deployment of central security forces, Nathan said the move was not within the committee’s scope, adding that the Tamil Nadu government instead should approach the Centre in this regard.
“As it is a law and order issue, both the governments should hold dialogue to resolve the issue. The committee is concerned about the dam’s safety, but it can’t go into the law and order aspect,” Nathan said.
‘Stable at 142-ft’
Nathan maintained the dam was stable ‘like any other facility’ even after the level was raised to 142 feet. “Tamil Nadu government need not pose questions over raising the level to 142 feet to the committee,” he clarified.
Bar imposed on Kerala Politicos
Madurai: Principal Secretary to Government, PWD, M Saikumar instructed officials not to allow any Kerala politician into the Mullaiperiyar dam site. “Our dam is not a tourist spot, it is a protected site. Therefore, don’t allow them (Kerala MPs or MLAs) inside the dam,” he told the PWD officials in-charge of maintaining the dam. “If the Kerala MLAs or MPs want to know the dam’s condition, they can send their expert committee to study it. Based on the committee’s report they can discuss the issue either in their State Assembly or in Parliament, but they should not come to the dam site and create problems,” Saikumar told the officials.
TN files caveat in Green Panel
Chennai: Tamil Nadu government on Monday filed a caveat petition before the National Green Tribunal, anticipating a petition from Kerala government on the ‘loss of bio-diversity’ along Mullaiperiyar dam due to the raise in the water level of the dam from 136 feet. The Kerala Forest Minister had said the government would approach the NGT citing the ‘ecological impact’ resulting from keeping the water level above 142 feet.