Tamil Nadu has executed major work at Mullaperiyar: Kerala

November 9th, 2010 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 9 (IANS) An expert committee appointed by the Kerala government Tuesday reported that Tamil Nadu has carried out extensive maintenance work at the ageing Mullaperiyar dam - a bone of contention between the two states.

Tamil Nadu was doing this just to impress the Supreme Court-appointed high-level empowered committee, which will be visiting the dam for three days starting Dec 20, state Water Resources Minister N.K.Premachandran told reporters after receiving its experts committee’s report.

Later speaking to IANS, Premachandran said Tamil Nadu has full authority to undertake routine maintenance, but they had done much more than that.

“What we have got from the report is that never before has Tamil Nadu carried out such extensive maintenance at both the Mullaperiyar main dam and the baby dam. According to the agreement, they have to do the annual routine maintenance work,” he said.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the present dam built under an agreement signed in 1886 between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the British administration.

While the dam is located in Kerala’s Idukki district, it serves Tamil Nadu. In recent years, Tamil Nadu has demanded that the storage capacity of the dam be raised from 136 feet (41.5 metres) to 142 feet (43 metres) to meet the increasing demand of water for irrigation, while Kerala has been demanding a new dam.

To break the deadlock, a high-level empowered committee was appointed by the Supreme Court early this year to go into all these issues, including the safety aspects of the existing dam.

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