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Mullaperiyar dam: TN permitted to close holes

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Tamil Nadu charged Kerala with preventing it from closing holes drilled in the Mullaperiyar Dam to assess its core stability, the Kerala government granted permission to plug the holes. Tamil Nadu has been permitted to carry out the work of closing the holes as the state`s need to examine the dam for which the holes were drilled was over, the office of Water Resources Minister P J Joseph said today.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had yesterday sought intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to facilitate the work. In a letter to him, she had said it was necessary to fill the holes before the onset of the monsoon to prevent any damage to the dam, located in Idduki district of Kerala but under the control of Tamil Nadu. She had said these holes were drilled as part of the core stability test ordered by Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee headed by Justice A S Anand to study safety aspects of the century-old dam, over which Tamil Nadu and Kerala are locked in a dispute.

She had also warned that if Kerala persisted with its "recalcitrant" attitude and if the Centre did not deploy CISF personnel, Tamil Nadu Police would be stationed to guard the dam. The two states are locked in a dispute over raising water level in the dam, which irrigates five southern districts in Tamil Nadu. While Kerala has been pressing for a new dam to replace the existing old structure on safety grounds, Tamil Nadu has opposed it and moved the Supreme Court.

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