New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has once again written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding that central forces be deployed at the Mullaperiyar dam site. She said that she will deploy the state police at the controversial site if Centre doesn't help.
She had written to the Prime Minister earlier in December asking the Centre to ensure that Kerala didn't stop officials from her state from closing holes drilled in the 119-year-old dam. Jayalalithaa now says that if the Centre doesn't heed her request, Tamil Nadu will deploy its own police to guard the dam.
She said the vertical holes were drilled as part of the core stability test ordered by Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee headed by Justice AS Anand to study the safety aspects of the century-old dam, over which Tamil Nadu and Kerala are locked in a dispute.
It was necessary to fill the holes before the onset of the monsoon so as to prevent any damage to the dam, located in Idduki district of Kerala but under the control of Tamil Nadu.
However, the Kerala government had been preventing Tamil Nadu officials from closing these drilled holes, in spite of the clear directions given by the Empowered Committee and the matter was taken up by her government with the neighbouring state but to no avail, she said.
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.
Jayalalithaa claimed that the Kerala government's attempt to prevent closing of the holes appeared to be a ploy intended to ensure that dam's structural stability was weakened, especially in the light of the Empowered Committee's conclusion that the dam was safe and water level could be raised to 142 ft.
(With additional inputs from PTI)