Panneerselvam questions silence of DMK allies on Mullaperiyar Dam


Questioning the silence of the ruling DMK’s allies on the Mullaperiyar Dam water storage issue, AIADMK Coordinator O. Panneerselvam on Saturday urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to convene an all party meeting to discuss the matter.

Panneerselvam said that Tamil Nadu should not hold any talks with the Kerala government on the construction of a new dam by the latter.

The former Chief Minister said Stalin should also strongly question the Kerala government’s order which is hindering the steps taken to strengthen the Mullaperiyar Baby Dam.

The Kerala government has frozen the tree felling order and also suspended the official for granting the permission.

According to Panneerselvam, the Supreme Court had ordered that the Kerala government should extend its cooperation in strengthening the dam and its action of suspending the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Bennychen P. Thomas was contempt of the court.

The AIADMK leader added that the silence of DMK’s allies like the Communist parties, Congress and others on the issue had made the people and the state farmers feel that they were backing the Kerala government.

“Keeping silent on the issue is akin to pledging the state’s interest with Kerala,” Panneerselvam said.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British rulers.

Though the dam is located in Kerala, it is owned, maintained and operated by Tamil Nadu.

The Supreme Court on May 5, 2014, had decreed in favour of Tamil Nadu and permitted the state to raise the water level in the dam to 142 feet from its earlier storage level of 136 feet.

In 2012, the Supreme Court empowered committee had said the Mullaperiyar dam is structurally safe.

Even in 2006, the apex court had said that Kerala cannot obstruct Tamil Nadu from increasing the water level in the dam to 142 feet and from carrying out repair works.