Jaya writes to PM on Mullaperiyar Dam issue

Chennai:Taking strong exception to Kerala`s reported "unilateral" action in ordering real time monitoring of Mullaperiyar Dam along with the Centre without Tamil Nadu`s consent, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today slammed it as a "blatant violation" of the principle of federalism and constitutional framework.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she referred to reports of Kerala deciding "unilaterally" to install real time monitoring system for water build up, calling it yet another attempt to exacerbate fears in Kerala about its safety. She said reports suggested Kerala had entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Science and Technology to install "real time monitoring system for water build up."

Jayalalithaa accused Kerala of "persistently" engaging in fear mongering about the dam`s safety though the Supreme Court had held in 2006 that the structure is safe and water could be stored initially upto 142 feet. The apex court appointed Empowered Committee was fully seized of the matter and is due to submit its report shortly, she saidm adding Kerala`s move is an "attempt to present a fait accompli" to the court when the matter is sub-judice.

Noting that the Mullaperiyar Dam and its appurtenant structures were owned and maintained by Tamil Nadu, she urged Singh to direct the Ministry of Science and Technology to immediately desist from entering into any agreement with the Government of Kerala and to annul any agreement if already entered into.

"I also request you to direct the Department of Science and Technology and Government of Kerala not to proceed further in any activity against the established rights of Tamil Nadu, since Tamil Nadu is the incontrovertible sole owner of the Mullaiperiyar Dam and all its appurtenant structure,"she said. Recalling her December 4, 2011 letter, Jayalalithaa said Kerala`s `unilateral` action in interfering in the management of the Mullaperiyar Dam only strengthens the basis for her earlier request for deployment of Central forces at the dam site. "I, therefore, request you to order the deployment of the CISF at the dam site forthwith," she said.

The two states are locked in a bitter row over the dam, with Kerala insisting on building a new dam to replace the more than 116-year-old structure, citing safety concerns, a stand opposed by Tamil Nadu, which says it is as safe as a new one.
The simmering issue had flared up recently, bringing both states on a confrontationist path and leading to violence in border districts of the two states before subsiding.