KUMILY:Rejecting Tamil Nadu’s demand to deploy their cops and Central forces to enhance the security of the dam, the three-member apex panel constituted by the Supreme Court on Mullaperiyar Dam, on Monday, decided to deploy Kerala Police for the purpose.
Tamil Nadu’s demand was strongly opposed by Kerala on the count that security was a state subject, L A V Nathan, Chairman of the Committee told reporters at his office here.
A register would be maintained at the dam to record the details of the visitors, he said.
The security issue had cropped up after Tamil Nadu accused E S Bijimol MLA of poking her fingers into the Baby dam.
The decision to construct a small passage to carry leaking water from the Baby dam was also taken to help measure the amount of seepage. This would be done after the water level comes down to the 136-ft mark.
The panel also decided to conduct chemical analysis of the seepage water, in Kochi and Coimbatore to bring more neutrality to the report.
Nathan said the dam at 142 ft was safe as any other dam and the seepage at the Baby dam was a usual phenomenon occurring in any dam.
He said the issue of raising the height further to 152 ft is a matter to be decided by the court.
There is no difference between the two states on the issue of sharing seepage data.
Later, talking to reporters, Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources, V J Kurien said the question why Tamil Nadu is not taking water to Vaigai dam even as it had only 20 per cent of water is intriguing as the farmers are struggling for water. Tamil Nadu has made it a prestige issue, he said.
On Tamil Nadu protesting over Biji Mol ‘poking’ her finger in the dam, Kurien said if the dam was so delicate why do they claim that it was strong enough to hold water up to 142 ft. The issue of operating of spillway shutter is still an issue, Kurien said.
He said that keeping water at 142 ft level was dangerous as the dam had witnessed its level going up drastically during heavy rains. For instance it rose by 12 feet in one day in July 1989 and 10 feet in November 1992.
It would cause a catastrophe if water is released when the dam is at such a level.
On the Nathan’s neutrality, Kurien said Kerala has already cast aspersion over his discrimination between the state and Central Water Commission.
Tamil Nadu has apologised for disallowing Lathika, Chief Engineer, Kerala Irrigation Department, to enter the gallery of the dam a few days ago, he said adding that they have assured that such a thing would not happen in future.
The next meeting of the panel will be held on December 29, Kurien said.
The panel is headed by L A V Nathan, Chief Engineer, (Dam Safety Organisation), Central Water Commission, M Saikumar, Principal Secretary (Public Works), Tamil Nadu and V J Kurian.