A retired PWD chief engineer has filed a PIL in the Madras High Court seeking to regulate visitors to the Mullaiperiyar Dam and ensure safety of the reservoir over which Tamil Nadu and Kerala are locked in a dispute. A division bench of justices Chitra Venkataraman and R Karuppiah in Madurai posted the PIL for hearing on February 23.
The former chief engineer A Kanagasabapathy alleged that for the last few months a fear psychosis was created in Kerala for political advantages. An opinion was sought to be created among the public to the effect that the dam might give way and result in loss of life and property.
Following this rumour, many persons with political affiliations attempted to enter the dam with earth-removal machines and iron tools to break the dam, he alleged.
Any such situation will not be in the interest of both the states and could also lead to unforeseen developments and whip up emotions on either sides, he added.
The dam row had intensified since November last with both Tamil Nadu and Kerala sparring over the latter's insistence on building a new dam in place of the 116-year old Mullaperiyar reservoir, causing tension in border areas of both states.
Kerala has been citing safety concerns for its demand to decommission the dam, which feeds five southern districts in Tamil Nadu, under whose control it comes on a 999 year lease.