`Kerala govt indulging in mischievous propaganda`

The resolution also warns the Kerala government against disrupting the dam maintenance that is taken up by Tamil Nadu periodically.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday charged Kerala government with carrying out a "mischievous propaganda" on the safety of the Mullaperiyar Dam only to create panic and whip up emotions of its people
to draw political mileage.

Moving a resolution to reassert Tamil Nadu`s rights on the dam at a special one-day Assembly session, she said, "Kerala government is spreading rumours that the dam is unsafe only to create panic among people. It is unfortunate that Kerala government is carrying on a mischievous propaganda to draw a political mileage".

She said at a time when Kerala government was whipping up sentiments and emotions of the people, it was decided to convene a special Assembly session "only to tell the world" that the people of Tamil Nadu were united and that the state
would not give up its rights on the dam water, based on Kerala`s "false" campaign.

Asserting that the dam was completely safe, she detailed steps taken to strengthen the reservoir on the basis of the Central Water Commission recommendations from 1980 to 1994.

The Supreme Court in its verdict on February 27, 2006 had also accepted the fact that the dam was safe when it said "regarding the issue as to the safety of the dam on water level being raised to 142 feet from the present level of 136 feet, the various reports have examined the safety angle in depth including the view point of earthquake resistance. The apprehensions have been found to be baseless," she said.

Jayalalithaa also quoted the Supreme Court`s verdict, which said "the experts, having reported about the safety of the dam and the Kerala government having adopted an obstructionist approach, cannot now be permitted to take shelter under the plea that these are disputed questions of fact. There is no report to suggest that the safety of the dam would be jeopardised if the water level is raised from 136 ft to 142 ft".

The Kerala Assembly in a bid to circumvent the apex court`s verdict had passed Kerala Irrigation and Water Preservation Act, which specified that the full storage capacity of the Mullaperiyar Dam would be 136 feet, she said.

Tamil Nadu has filed a case in the Supreme Court to declare the Act ultra vires the Constitution, which is now pending before it.

The Supreme Court also constituted an empowered committee headed by former Chief Justice of India AS Anand to go into the entire gamut of the issue which is to submit its report in February next. The empowered committee had sought the
assistance of Central Water Commission, Central Water and Power Research Station, Geological Survey of India, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Central Soil and Material Research Station to prepare its report.

Under these circumstances, the Kerala government had indulged in a "mischievous propaganda" that the dam was unsafe, only to create panic among the people, she said.


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