MYSURU: In a series of flip-flops, Mandya MP Sumalatha, who had claimed damage to the structure of the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir, on Wednesday said she never spoke of any crack, but was only questioning the officials about possible damage owing to illegal mining in the region.
Later in the day, in another contradictory statement in Mandya, Sumalatha brushed aside criticism of a ‘U-turn’ and claimed that the KRS structure was indeed damaged, but they were small wear-and-tear cavities or air gaps, repaired through grating. She went on to praise the officials for doing a commendable job in rectifying it.
This comes at a time when there has been a political slugfest between the MP and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy over the dam’s safety and “illegal mining” around it. Also, Sumalatha’s claims of cracks on KRS were refuted by the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd as well as by District Minister KC Narayana Gowda.
Justifying her statement, Sumalatha said that she was concerned about large cracks appearing on the KRS in the future due to illegal mining and added that only an expert study can confirm it. “Should we wait, risking our safety? That is why I have requested for a ban on such quarrying in the 20km radius of KRS, which can be lifted, if needed, after a detailed certification,” she said, adding that she is not against such activities being carried out legally.
Meanwhile, when the MP was asked why she is not questioning the government on not cracking down on illegal quarrying and about the safety of the dam, she played it down and said that her job was to put out proof about issues. She also visited Baby Betta, a quarrying site, and also the KRS reservoir for inspection.