Mullaperiyar: `Only state govt can seek Central forces’
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Last Updated: Friday, February 10, 2012, 22:25
  
Madurai: The Centre today said Central security forces could not be deployed at the Mullaperiyar dam site unless the Tamil Nadu government sought such a protection.

In a counter filed in the Madras High Court bench here, in response to a petition by Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers Association, Neeraj Kansal, director (Personnel) Police II division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, said security personnel such as CRPF, CISF could not be granted by the Ministry unless the state government concerned sought such a protection.

Besides, the Supreme Court itself had rejected such a plea after recording the assurance of the state of Kerala to do all that was necessary to protect the dam, the Ministry said.

The Kerala government had also said steps had been taken by the local police and forest officials to ensure the safety of the dam, the ministry said.

The ministry had filed the counter in response to a writ petition by Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers Association, which had sought deployment of Central forces and fire service personnel, removal of alleged encroachments in the dam area, and also protection to the PWD employees and their families in the dam site, and also Ayyappa devotees visiting Kerala.

Centre had no control over the reliefs sought by the association, the ministry said in its counter.

Regarding the prayer for removal of alleged illegal encroachment, the ministry said 'police and public order' were state subjects and the responsibility to remove the alleged encroachments lies with the state government of Kerala.

Citing safety concerns, Kerala has been insisting on building a new dam in place of the 116-year-old reservoir. Kerala's stand is opposed by Tamil Nadu, which controls the existing reservoir that irrigates five southern districts in the state, saying it is "as good as new" after measures taken to strengthen it.

PTI


First Published: Friday, February 10, 2012, 22:25


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