Centre to be blamed if dam collapses: Kerala min

Kerala Water Resources Minister P J Joseph on Saturday warned that the Centre will be held responsible if the 116-year-old structure collapses.

New Delhi: Stepping up pressure for the
early resolution of Mullaperiyar Dam row with Tamil Nadu,
Kerala Water Resources Minister P J Joseph on Saturday warned that
the Centre will be held responsible if the 116-year-old
structure collapses.

"The Central Government should not yield to Tamil Nadu`s
pressure. Lives of millions of people are in danger. If
anything untoward happens because of Mullaperiyar, the
Government of India will be held responsible," he told agency.

Joseph, who is also a top leader of the Kerala Congress
(M), a major partner in Kerala`s Congress-led United
Democratic Front (UDF), also expressed hope that the UPA
Government would "take appropriate action at the appropriate
time."

Tamil Nadu has been arguing that Mullaperiyar dam was
meant for 999 years of irrigation and safety measures are
already taken.

Citing the recent tremors that shook the area where
Mullaperiyar dam is located, Joseph said if it collapses, four
districts will be "heavily hit" and "it will be the biggest
calamity on earth."

"One area will be completely wiped out. Is it not part
of India? This should get precedence over any other problem in
India. Can Parliament of India sleep over it," he asked and
urged the national parties "to come to the forefront and take
up the cause."

"Government of India... Prime Minister... putting apart
all other issues, this should get precedence," Joseph said.

He said Kerala would move an Interim Application in the
Supreme Court on Monday seeking its intervention for
immediate resolution of the problem.

"Even if my ministership goes, I don`t mind. There is a
danger for millions people. Then what is the importance of
being a minister," Joseph reiterated.

While Kerala has expressed apprehension that rising
water level in the dam posed a major risk to it, Tamil Nadu
has rejected any such fears.

PTI

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