Kerala, TN members clash in RS over Dam

Kerala and Tamil Nadu members clashed in the Rajya Sabha over Mullaperiyar Dam issue, seeking Centre`s intervention in resolving the issue.

Last Updated: Dec 07, 2011, 16:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Members from Kerala and Tamil Nadu
clashed in the Rajya Sabha over Mullaperiyar Dam controversy,
seeking Centre`s intervention in resolving the contentious
issue.

Members from Tamil Nadu, cutting across party lines, said
the 116-year-old dam was safe and demanded its water level be
raised to 142 ft level, while those from Kerala said it was a
question of life and death of the people in the state and
their safety should not be compromised with.

Raising the issue during Zero House, AIADMK leader V
Maitreyan said the Kerala government was spreading rumours on
the safety of the dam, despite the Supreme Court declaring it
safe.

"The Government of Kerala is creating panic and rumour
among its people... it said 22 tremors occurred in last two
months, which is blatantly untrue. There have been only four
tremors last year," he said, seeking Centre`s intervention
in raising the water level of the dam, which he said was
affecting the crops in Tamil Nadu.

Echoing similar sentiments, DMK leader Tiruchi Siva said
the dam was strong enough and safe, as has been certified, and
sought raising of its water level.

"All apprehensions that it falls under seismic zone are
baseless... Some miscreants are trying to damage the dam. We
have already demanded that CISF be deployed there...We seek
the intervention of the Centre to increase the capacity of
water to 142 ft," he said. Congress member from Tamil Nadu E M Sudarsana Natchiappan said the issue of livelihood and agriculture must be looked into, fearing there could be a law and order problem.

He said the Supreme Court has constituted a committee
headed by a former Chief Justice and Kerala can report to it
committee if it had any issues.

D Raja (CPI) said a solution to the contentious issue
should be found soon taking into account the interests of both
the states and added that nothing should be done that might
adversely impact the best relations between Kerala and Tamil
Nadu.

"I did meet the Prime Minister and asked him to intervene.
It will be appropriate if the PM calls both the chief
ministers and finds an amicable and meaningful solution... The
Centre should take a pro-active role and convene a meeting of
both states," he said.

Congress member from Kerala P J Kurien said not a drop of
water going to Tamil Nadu will be removed. Mentioning the
report of IIT-Roorkee that the 116-year-old dam will not be
able to withstand an earthquake measuring above 5 on the
Richter scale, Kurien suggested construction of a new
quake-resistant dam.

"If the dam is not safe, let us have another dam... there
is a fear which needs to be allayed," he said.
T K Rangarajan (CPI-M) said the people of Tamil Nadu were
not having two crops due to less water and their interests
should be protected. "This vandalism should also be stopped...
law and order should be there and the Centre should
intervene," he said.

T N Seema (CPI-M) said the issue pertained to the life and
death of 30 lakh people and there must be some solution to the
issue. "There is a danger...we cannot live in fear," she said.

PTI