‘Kerala govt bent on demolishing Mullaperiyar dam’

Chennai: MDMK chief Vaiko on Monday alleged that Kerala government was bent upon "demolishing" the Mullaperiyar dam at any cost by attempting to create a "fear psychosis" over its condition.

"In the name of constructing a new dam, Kerala government is bent upon demolishing the existing dam to deprive Tamil Nadu of its right for 999 years," he said in a reference to the 999 years for which Tamil Nadu holds lease rights on the dam.

"If a new dam is constructed, Tamil Nadu will not get even a single drop of water," he said in a statement.

Claiming that the existing dam was the "strongest in India", he said it had a 200-feet long base which is the longest in the country.

Kerala government was involved in an attempt to create "fear psychosis" among people in Kerala over the safety of the dam and was preparing them for demolishing the dam, Vaiko said.

Today's hartal in some parts of Kerala was a step in this direction, he said, adding the Centre was siding with Kerala instead of protecting the rights of Tamil Nadu.

Vaiko said he had received reports that effigies of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran and his were burnt in several parts of Kerala and appealed to his supporters not to indulge in any sort retaliation.

Kerala has been pressing for immediate Central intervention to persuade Tamil Nadu on agreeing to the proposal of a new dam at Mullaperiyar, claiming that the present structure posed a threat to nearly three million people, mainly in Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts.

However, holding a contradictory view, Tamil Nadu has opposed construction of a new dam, asserting that the present reservoir was "as safe and good as new" and accused Kerala of whipping up public fear over the issue.