#India #Tamilnadu #Kerala #Dam #Manmohan #Jaya asks PM to act on dam row-#Mullaperiyar
Chennai, May 27, 2012, DHNS:
Says Kerala is preventing TN from carrying out urgent repairs to Mullaperiyar
Barely a few hours before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left New Delhi for Myanmar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha again sought his “immediate action” to help redress certain urgent issues vis-à-vis the Mullaperiyar dam row with Kerala.

“Tamil Nadu needs to urgently do some civil works before the onset of the monsoon to ensure the reservoir’s structural integrity,” Jayalalitha said in her letter to Singh on Sunday. She requested the prime minister to advise the Kerala government “not to prevent officials of Tamil Nadu from carrying out the essential works of closing the drilled holes on the Mullaperiyar dam.”

Following the Supreme Court’s directive to the Empowered Committee headed by retired Justice A S Anand to study the safety aspects of the dam, vertical holes had to be drilled on the dam for the core stability test while assessing its structural stability, she pointed out.

“Now, the holes will have to be closed in view of the approaching southwest monsoon,” the chief minister wrote. Despite clear instructions from the EC to close those drilled holes as they have completed their study and also submitted their report to the Supreme Court, Kerala was “preventing” Tamil Nadu officials from doing their job, she alleged.
Stating that it was necessary to fill the vertical holes to prevent any damage to the dam, Jayalalitha suspected a ploy by Kerala in “preventing us” from completing the essential works to weaken the dam.

This was more so when the EC had concluded in its report that the dam “is structurally, seismically and hydrologically safe and the water-level could be raised to 142 feet,” contended Jayalalitha.

Though the Kerala police had been stationed at the dam site only to protect it, the Kerala government had been “using its police” to stop Tamil Nadu engineers from doing even routine maintenance works, she said. “The attitude of the Kerala government is reprehensible and needs to be set right,” she emphasised.

Reminding Singh about her earlier requests to deploy Central Industrial Security Forces to safeguard the Mullaperiyar dam, Jayalalitha hoped that at least now the Centre would accede to Tamil Nadu’s request in this regard.

“If the Government of India did not respond to our request to deploy the CISF, the government of Tamil Nadu will have no option but to deploy its own police force to guard the Mullaperiyar dam in the area leased out to Tamil Nadu,” she said.

Mullaperiyar dam holes still open
May 15, 2012 - K. Karthikeyan | DC | Chennai

Notwithstanding the dissenting views of Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments over the findings of the Supreme Court-constituted empowered committee (EC), that held the Mullaiperiyar dam safe, the 116-year-old structure badly needs immediate attention.
As many as eight huge holes dug in the dam by technical teams deputed by the EC remain ‘perilously’ open till date.
Several serving and retired TN PWD engineers have raised serious concern over the holes remaining unfilled ahead of the southwest monsoon that brings bountiful rain to the region.
TN PWD senior engineers association has appealed to TN to immediately fill the holes dug months back.
Association secretary R.V.S. Vijayakumar told DC that about seven holes were dug across the entire length of the 1,200 feet long main dam and one hole in the 440 feet long baby dam to collect samples for scientific examination of the dam’s structural safety.

Each hole, measuring six inches in diameter, were dug vertically up to depths ranging between 130 and 190 feet in the dam which has a capacity to store water up to 152 feet, Mr Vijayakumar pointed out.
Alleging that anti-social elements backed by the Kerala government were conspiring to put explosives in the holes, damage the dam and whip up public frenzy, Mr Vijayakumar said a team of TN engineers who visited the dam on April 20 for filling the holes were chased away by the Kerala engineers with the support of their policemen.
If the holes are not closed now, rainwater would enter the holes, percolate deep below during the southwest monsoon and weaken the structure gradually, Cumbum constituency MLA N.
Eramakrishnan cautioned. While Mr Eramakrishnan said the state should write to the SC or Centre to immediately close the holes, Mr Vijayakumar wondered where was the need to get Kerala’s permission as the EC had dug the holes.