UPA dams Kerala
Kerala has once again been let down by the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre on the Mullaperiyar issue.
The latest instance of the Centre’s indifference to the state has resulted in the latter being unable to prepare properly for its case before the Supreme Court [SC] on the sensitive matter.
Kerala’s case has suffered because the Centre, has, despite the directive of the highest court in the country, failed to make available copies of the various test reports on the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam to the state.
It was on the basis of these tests that the SC-appointed Empowered Committee had prepared its report that the Mullaperiyar dam is seismologically, hydrologically and structurally safe.
The apex court had, on 23 July asked the Union Water Resources Ministry to give copies of various tests to both Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The SC order was in response to Kerala’s request that in the absence of the copies of the reports, it has not been able to support its argument that the Mullaperiyar dam poses a big danger to the state and the only solution to the problem is the construction of a new dam.
With the Water Resources Ministry failing to give copies of the test reports, Kerala has no option other than seeking an adjournment of the case before the SC. Which means a further delay in securing justice for the State in the matter, which has a crucial bearing on the safety of the people of four districts of Kerala.
The state has also decided to lodge a formal complaint with the Supreme Court over the failure of the Union Water Resources Ministry to give it copies of the test reports on the safety of Mullaperiyar dam.
This is not the first time that the centre has acted in utter disregard of the interests of Kerala in the issue.
The UPA Government had adopted a totally indifferent attitude to Kerala when the state had petitioned it to intervene in the matter urgently and make Tamil Nadu see reason when the controversy had erupted.
It may be mentioned that the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had even openly said that the Supreme Court verdict on the issue would go in favour of Tamil Nadu and that Kerala was raising the issue only to win an assembly by-election! It was a blatant attempt to influence the apex court’s verdict in the highly emotive issue.
The prime minister did not think it fit to restrain his Home Minister although he was quick in asking Kerala’s ministers to refrain from making statements which would vitiate the atmosphere and spoil the relations between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
It is not difficult, however, to gauge the reasons behind the UPA Government’s bias against Kerala. After all, the Manmohan Singh government is critically dependent on the support of MPs from Tamil Nadu for survival in power. This being the stark reality, the Centre is in no position to discipline Tamil Nadu whose uncooperative attitude has caused hardship to the people of not only Kerala but a section of the population of a few TN districts which are dependent on Mullaperiyar waters as well. [IPA]