NEW DELHI: The Supreme-Court-appointed Experts Committee on Mullaiperiyar dam on Monday asked Kerala representative Rajeev Dhavan whether the recent tremors in the region have affected the structure of the dam in any way. Kerala replied in the negative but argued that these many tremors means the region is seismic prone and that the dam is in danger.
The Expert Committee, however, rejected Kerala’s plea to consider IIT Roorkee experts as witness during the hearings. But it agreed to consider the report prepared by the IIT Roorkee team, which had said that the Mullaiperiyar dam is a high-hazard dam as per criteria fixed by the Central Water Commission in its main report.
Similarly, the Expert Committee also rejected Kerala’s plea to get a copy of the all test reports. Refusing to give the copies, the Expert Committee said that all the test reports will be included in the final report to the Supreme Court. During the arguments, C D Thatte, one of the two experts who had visited the dam site commented that the structure is safe and that there is no need to worry. He, along with another member D K Mehta, had visited the dam site last month after Kerala yet again expressed fears on the dam’s safety in the wake of recent tremors in the area.
Kerala alleged that the two-member team is biased and opposed its consideration by the five-member committee. It complained that the two experts are unfair and had openly supported Tamil Nadu during their inspection of the dam site and that they are acting against Kerala’s interests. Kerala officials had stayed away from the December 23 visit of the two experts, alleging that the two had not heard the state’s views on the dam’s safety aspects.