Jayalalithaa Raises Mullaperiyar Issue With Chandy


Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday requested her Kerala counterpart Oommen Chandy to ensure that his government abides by the apex court order allowing the water storage level at Mullaperiyar Dam to be raised to 142 feet.
Replying to Chandy’s letter dated Dec 1, 2011, the text of which was released here to the media, Jayalalithaa said: “May I take this opportunity to request you to kindly ensure that the Government of Kerala abides by the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, which has taken into consideration all the safety aspects of the dam and allow the water level to be raised to 142 feet?”
While agreeing with Chandy’s views that Tamil Nadu and Kerala have mutual interests and co-operation on various fronts and they should be fostered, she said: “I would like to take this opportunity to bring to your notice unwarranted provocations from across the border and also our anxieties on the fear psychosis generated in Kerala.”
She said the apex court after considering the report of the expert committee formed by the central government ordered “raising of level of storage in the Mullai Periyar Dam to 142 feet”.
Jayalalithaa said the Kerala government amended the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act 2003 in 2006 there by nullifying the apex court order. She said the Empowered Committee under the chairmanship of the former chief justice of India A.S. Anand is looking into dam safety.
”The Government of Tamil Nadu had carried out a series of measures from 1980 to 1994 on the recommendations of the Chairman, Central Water Commission, to strengthen the dam and after all these measures have been carried out, the retrofitted Mullai Periyar Dam is as good as new. The Supreme Court of India had also factored this in while pronouncing its judgment in 2006, allowing Tamil Nadu initially to store water up to 142 feet,” the letter notes.
She said a series of studies/tests such a scanning the upstream face of the dam, testing of cable anchors, non-destructive tests have been conducted and some are in progress.
In response to Chandy’s reference in his letter to the 22 tremors in the last four months, Jayalalithaa said: “As per the Indian Meteorological Department data, there have been only four mild tremors in the last four months, that too far away from the vicinity of the Mullai Periyar Dam site, which did not have any effect on the seepage in the dam.”
”The seepage of the dam is well within the permissible limits as per the Indian Standards Code. The possibility of tremors of even medium magnitude does not exist in the Mullai Periyar Dam site. The possibility of the Mullai Periyar Dam breaching due to flood waters and collapsing is not logical since all eventualities have been factored in during the strengthening of the dam,” the letter notes.
Jayalalithaa stressed that informed decision making at the the government level should be based on reason rather than extraneous factors and one should guard against unfounded fears overtaking reason and ground realities.

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