Jaya accuses Kerala of whipping up fear on dam issue

Chennai, Nov 24: As the row over the Mullaperiyar dam hotted up, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention asking him to advise Kerala government not to whip up fear among its people for political mileage and said the dam is "safe and as good as new".

In a letter to Singh, Jayalalithaa said her Kerala counterpart Ommen chandy had reportedly met the Prime Minister for the construction of a new dam in place of the existing structure holding it was the only solution to safeguard the people of Kerala.

"The government of Kerala has been harping on this point for quiet some time, inspite of the fact that the existing dam has been proved to be safe and can store water up to 142 feet as decided by the Supreme court as early as in 2006," she said.

Jayalalithaa said the Kerala government "seemed to be intent on creating a fear psychosis and panic among the people of that state and to influence the empowered committee appointed by the Supreme Court by submitting a report based on fear perception rather than fact."

Recalling that the Supreme Court had in February 2006 ordered raising the water level to 142 feet, she said it had held in "unambiguous terms" that the dam was safe and Tamil government had taken measures to keep it in "as good conditon as a new dam".

Jayalalithaa noted that the Central Water Commission had as early as in 1979 concluded that there was no danger to the dam following concerns raised by Kerala and suggested certain strenghtening measures which were carried out by Tamil Nadu government from 1980 to 1994 with the concurrence of the neighbouring state.

Due to these measures, the dam was safe and its functioning "is as good as that of a new dam", she said in the letter released to the media.


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