Mullaperiyar dam row: opposition raps Kerala government silence on Tamil Nadu claims

Opposition corners gov on ownership and right to operate and maintain the dams

Thiruvananthapuram: The Assembly on Wednesday witnessed noisy scenes over the alleged silence maintained by the state government official regarding the claim of Tamil Nadu officials on the Mullaperiyar dam at a meeting of the national committee on dam safety.

The Opposition trooped to the well of the House after the government failed to give a convincing reply to the allegation. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy later assured the House that he would give a clarification on Thursday.

Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Ms. Jameela Prakasam raised the matter during question hour, citing the minutes of the meeting held on December 27, 2013.

She said that though the Tamil Nadu government officials maintained that the ownership and right to operate and maintain the Mullaperiyar, Thunakadavu, Peruvaripallam and Parambikulam dams were with the Tamil Nadu government, the Kerala irrigation department chief engineer P. Lathika, who represented the state at the meeting, did not object to this.

As a result it was mentioned in the national register of large dams these dams were owned by Tamil Nadu, she said. As Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph denied the charges, the MLA showed a copy of the minutes of the meeting. Though the minister said that he would look into the matter, the Opposition MLAs trooped to the well of the House insisting on an immediate reply. The House was disrupted for some time.

Later, the Chief Minister urged Ms. Prakasam to table the copy of the minutes in the House and said the government would initiate stern action if any officials had acted against the state’s interest.

“The matter did not come to the government’s notice so far. After examining the matter, I will give a reply in the House tomorrow,” he said.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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