Dam row: Kerala`s all-party team to meet PM

Intensifying its campaign for a new reservoir at Mullaperiyar, an all-party delegation from Kerala will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Last Updated: Dec 07, 2011, 18:05 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Intensifying its campaign
for a new reservoir at Mullaperiyar, an all-party delegation
from Kerala will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The state today filed an interim plea in Supreme Court
seeking to lower the water level to 120 ft in the 116-year-old
dam.
The date for the delegation to go Delhi would be decided
after the Prime Minister`s appointment, Chief Minister Oommen
told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

The all-party delegation, which would include Chief
Minister and the Opposition leader, would press for a new dam
in view of the serious safety concerns caused due to frequent
tremors in Idukki district where the present structure is
located.

To reinforce its case that the dam is weak, the state
would ask IIT Roorkie to expedite the report it had sought on
the "dam-break analysis" based on which the government could
draw up a detailed report on the magnitude of the disaster in
case the dam collapses.

As part of the disaster management plans, a Flood Field
Mapping Unit would be set up at Thekkadi, near the dam site,
and a satelite imaging of the area would be conducted using
digital technology.
Strengthening the legal measures, a four-member cabinet
sub-committee was formed to prepare a detailed affidavit on
the disaster management plans to be submitted to the Kerala
High Court.

Reiterating the call for restraint on the part of
protesters, Chandy said there had been some attempts from the
other side to inflate some minor incidents which had led to
further reaction.

Kerala wants to resolve the dam issue without disturbing
its cordial relations with Tamil Nadu, Chandy said and
termed as unfortunate the incidents of violence that had
recently taken place in connection with the matter.

Kerala DGP Jacob Punnose was in touch with Tamil Nadu
police to tackle the situation and the latter had offered
co-operation, he said.

Referring to the controversy over Advocate General K P
Dandapani`s submissions in the High court, Chandy said it was
a "closed chapter" as he (AG) had explained his position to
the cabinet.

"We are struggling for a lofty cause and we should move
unitedly for achieving it. If there are mistakes in that
endeavour, they would be corrected," he said.

Chandy said Dandapani explained that he had not made any
statements contradicting the state`s position in the case and
that some points he made had been misquoted by a section of
media.

Opposition parties had demanded action against Dandapani,
alleging that his submissions had in effect weakened the
state`s case that the condition of the dam was very precarious
and its collapse could pose a dire threat to over three
million people.

Referring to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa`s
contention in her letter to the Prime Minister that Idukki dam
could contain the waters if the Mullaperiyar dam broke, Chandy
said this was a virtual admission by Tamil Nadu that the dam
was weak.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan,who
observed a day`s fast at Vandiperiyar in Idukki district on
the issue, appealed to the Tamil Nadu government not to do
anything that would put the lives of Keralites at stake. He
blamed the Centre for ignoring Kerala`s `just demand` for a
new dam which the state had been pressing for long.

PTI