Jayalalithaa appeals to Kerala on Mullaperiyar dam

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 22, 2010 14:50 hrs

Chennai, Dec 22 (IANS) AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday appealed to the people of Kerala not to let five Tamil Nadu districts go barren over unsubstantiated fears about the safety of the Mullaperiyar Dam.

In a statement issued here, she said: 'I would like to call upon the people of the lovely state of Kerala and the state government to see reason. The so-called danger to the existing dam is a deliberately created bogey, without basis.'

According to her, engineering experts have inspected the structure and, if necessary, another inspection could be conducted by experts from either side under the supervision of the central government and the Supreme Court.

Jayalalithaa appealed to the Kerala government not to let unsubstantiated fears be the basis for a decision that could turn Theni, Sivaganga, Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts in Tamil Nadu into a desert, rendering millions of people homeless.

Referring to the common cultural roots and social bonds between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, she said: 'Millions of Tamil-speaking people live in Kerala. Likewise, millions of Malayalees live in Tamil Nadu. Let us not strain this long saga of bonhomie due to short-sightedness.'

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam built under an 1886 agreement signed between the then maharaja of Travancore and the British administration. While the dam is located in Kerala's Idukki district, it serves large areas in Tamil Nadu.