Mullaperiyar row: Kerala assures protection
Madurai: Kerala would do all that was
necessary to protect the Mullaperiyar dam, and also all
protection to Tamil Nadu PWD staff working in the dam,
tourists from Tamil Nadu and Ayyappa devotees visiting Kerala,
the Kerala Chief Secretary on Tuesday submitted in the Madras High
Court Bench here.
In his counter filed in connection with the writ petition
filed by the Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers' Association,
Chief Secretary P Prabhakaran also denied that illegal
structures were built up in the dam site with the support of
the Kerala government.
He said that when the Tamil Nadu government had moved the
Supreme Court seeking to replace the Kerala state police with
Central forces at the dam site, the apex court recorded the
submission of the Kerala state that all steps had been taken
to ensure the safety of the Mullaiperiyar dam.
The Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers' Association was not a
registered one and had no locus standi to seek the relief, he
He said proper protection was being offered to the dam,
tourists from tamilnadu, and devotees of lord Ayyappa by the
Kerala police. They had not received "any complaint
whatsoever" from any quarter in this regard, he said. The
apprehension of the petitioner with regard to the safety of
the dam, tourists from Tamil Nadu and devotees of lord Ayyappa
were "baseless," he said.
The petitioner RVS Vijayakumar, secretary of the
Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers Association, submitted there
was encroachment in the dam site that had been supported by
the Kerala government. The engineers who were involved in the
maintenance of the dam, as well as tourists and Ayyappa
devotees were being attacked and facing threat, he said,
seeking a direction to replace the Kerala police from the dam
site and remove the alleged encroachments.
Justice Chitra Venkatraman and Justice Karuppiah said as
the case relating to Mullaperiyar dam was pending in the
Supreme Court, this court could not intervene and entertain
the petition. As the petitioner's advocate sought time for the
senior counsel to appear, the case was posted for hearing
on Jan 31.
Tamil Nadu and Kerala are locked in a dispute over raising
the storage capacity of the Mullaperiyar dam. While Kerala
claims that the 116-year-old reservoir is unsafe and should be
replaced by a new dam, Tamil Nadu maintains that the present
structure is "as good as new" after measures taken to
strengthen the dam.