Kerala`s apprehension over dam is bypoll fear: PC

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday claimed it was borne out of "bypoll fear".

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2011, 18:29 PM IST

Chennai: Terming the Kerala government`s
apprehension over safety of the Mullaperiyar dam as
"unnecessary", Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday claimed it
was borne out of "bypoll fear".
"It is an unnecessary fear. It is not even a temporary or
a permanent fear. It is only a bypoll fear," he said
apparently referring to the upcoming Assembly bypoll to
Piravom constituency in Kerala.

The problem would not have arisen if the Election
Commission had conducted the bypoll to that seat, he said,
suggesting that the issue had been raked up for political
reasons.

The date for the bypoll is yet to be announced.
"The dam was built for Tamil Nadu and the water from it
is meant for us...for the five districts in Tamil Nadu. If
they (Kerala) fear it will collapse, we too have the
responsibility to protect it," he said.

Observing that the Supreme Court-appointed Empowered
Committee, which is going into the issue, would submit its
report by February 2012, he hoped that the outcome would be
favourable to Tamil Nadu.
"Based on the reports of experts and information
available, I sincerely hope that a favourable order will be
given to Tamil Nadu by Supreme Court...," he said.

Chidambaram said till the apex court gives its verdict on
the dam issue by February or March 2012, the people of two
states should maintain calm and peace.

"It is the responsibility of the Centre to allay the
fears of Kerala people which it will do. Besides, the Centre
will also take steps to protect the dam. When these two duties
are done, we will get a good verdict. Till then, we need to
show maturity and maintain calm...," he said.

Shipping Minister GK Vasan said the "normal" demands
raised by Tamil Nadu government would provide a good result on
the issue.

Congress leader EVKS Elangovan demanded that the
Kerala government be dismissed for not obeying the earlier
Supreme Court order on raising the dam`s water level to 142
ft.

PTI