Hitting back at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, his Kerala counterpart V S Achuthanandan on Friday questioned the purpose of former's demand for deployment of Central Industrial Security Force personnel to guard the contentious Mullaperiyar Dam.
"Can CISF jawans prevent the flow of water from the dam?", Achuthanandan asked, reacting to Karunanidhi's demand for deployment of CISF personnel at the reservoir site.
Talking to media after a cabinet meeting, Achuthanandan said the dharna by local people in Idukki district, where the dam is situated, demanding an alternative dam, has crossed 1000 days. About 40 lakh people in five districts would be affected in case the dam collapses, he said.
He said the reservoir was one of the oldest structures in the country and the seismic study had shown that the dam was not able to sustain earthquake and flood.
The site for the new dam across the inter-state Mullaperiyar river was identified by a joint team of officials from Kerala and Tamil Nadu in 1979 itself. However, Tamil Nadu backtracked from their earlier stand, he said.
The dispute between the two states has intensified in recent days after the Centre allowed Kerala to conduct a survey for construction of a new dam to replace the existing 113-year-old reservoir located in Kerala and administered by Tamil Nadu.