T.N. will strengthen baby dam: Minister
Tamil Nadu’s Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan on Friday assured Kerala that it need not have any apprehension about the Mullaperiyar dam’s safety.
He said the work to strengthen the main dam had already been done in compliance with the Supreme Court’s direction. To strengthen the baby dam, it was necessary to remove three trees near it, he said. “After strengthening the baby dam, we will approach the Supreme Court and then the water level will be raised to 152 feet,” he said, after inspecting the dam.
The Minister said the relationship between Tamil Nadu and Kerala was good, and the row would be resolved amicably. He was accompanied by Ministers I. Periasami, P. Moorthy and R. Sakkarapani, MLAs and officials.
Mr. Duraimurugan told reporters that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan had a special relationship and the issue would be sorted out soon.
He said Mr. Vijayan is a seasoned politician and would be aware of the farmers’ problems in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. “I couldn’t visit the dam earlier owing to COVID-19 restrictions… I have planned to visit all major dams soon,” he said.
The Minister said AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam had no right to talk about the issue. “Neither he nor any other AIADMK Minister had ever visited the dam in the last 10 years. Now, they are faulting the functioning of the DMK government.”
To a question on water drawal by Kerala, Mr. Duraimurugan said the Central Water Commission had recently introduced the ‘rule curve’ theory.
Taking the measurement of storage over the last 30 years, engineers would implement it month on month, depending on the inflow and the rainfall.” He said the authorities would keep a tab on the level and release or store water accordingly. For instance, the level on Friday was 138.80 feet.
In the event of a steady inflow, the PWD engineers could store 139.50 feet on November 10 and 142 feet on November 30, he clarified.
The Minister said the government would consider the demands of the farmers from the five districts, who have announced a ‘padayatra’.
On demand for new dam
The Water Resources Minister also ruled out Kerala’s demand for the construction of a new dam. The Supreme Court and various government agencies had acknowledged that the dam was safe. Earlier, DMK workers, accompanying the Minister, were stopped by the police at Lower Camp.
Irrigation Secretary Sandeep Saxena, Theni Collector K.V. Muralidharan, PWD Mullaperiyar dam chief engineer Krishnan, R. Subramanian of the Cauvery Technical Cell and senior officers of the Public Works and Revenue Departments also accompanied the Minister during his visit to the dam.
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