No joint committee for checking seepage in Mullaperiyar: TN

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Chennai, Feb 2 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu government today denied that it had agreed for a joint monitoring committee, comprising officials of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, to examine the seepage of water in the Mullaiperiyar dam.

Dismissing as ''wrong and far from truth'' Kerala Water Resources Minister R K Premachandran's claim to this effect, an official release here said the state government had only agreed that a committee, comprising engineers from states other than Tamil Nadu and Kerala, could examine the issue.

The state government mooted the suggestion at the meeting held in Delhi on December 19 at the instance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Kerala Government had said it would consider the suggestion and let its stand known to the Centre, the release said.

In deference to the request of the Prime Minister, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi held talks with his Kerala counterpart in the presence of Union Water Resources Minister on December 19, when Kerala expressed apprehension about the safety of the dam, citing seepage of water.

When Tamil Nadu, quoting experts' reports, said the dam was strong and safe, the Kerala Water Resources Minister insisted that the seepage of water in the dam should be carefully examined.

Following this, Tamil Nadu Government had suggested that a team comprising neutral engineers, drawn from states other than the two states could examine the issue under the direct supervision of Central Water Resources Commission, it said.

When this was the fact, it was wrong on the part of Mr Premachandran to state that Tamil Nadu had agreed for a joint monitoring committee, comprising engineers from the two states, the release said.

''This is totally false. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister never expresssed such a view. The Chief Minister, in his letter to the Prime Minister on December 20, had written in detail as to what had transpired at the December 19 meeting'', the release said.

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