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State to strengthen security at Mullaperiyar

State to strengthen security at Mullaperiyar

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government Thursday decided to strengthen security in and around Mullaperiyar dam, situated in hilly Idukki district over which it has a dispute with neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

As part of improving security, the state cabinet accorded sanction to open a new police station at Thekkady where the dam is located. The dam and nearby areas would come under its ambit, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here.

The state government did not perceive any threat to dam. But, the step to increase security had been taken in the backdrop of submission in Supreme Court by an agency that there was a threat to Mullaperiyar dam, Chandy said.

He was replying to a question whether the decision had anything to do with Tamil Nadu seeking deployment of CISFfor security at Mullaperiyar.

Tamil Nadu government had recently filed an affidavit in the Supreme court seeking CISF deployment for Mullaperiyar dam in in view of perceived threats by LTTE.
However, "We take the submission in the apex court on the perceived threat seriously and decided to strengthen the security," Chandy said.

It was also decided to create 197 additional posts, including that of a DySP rank for the exclusive security of the 112-year old dam.

The police station, with all modern equipment including CCTV cameras would function 24 hours at Thekkady, he added.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have locked horns over the water level to be maintained at the Mullaperiyar dam, whose administration is under the control of Tamil Nadu as per a decades-old water sharing agreement.

Citing safety concerns, Kerala had been wanting to build a new dam in place of the existing over-a-century-old reservoir, a move opposed by Tamil Nadu saying it would be deprived of its share of water for irrigating southern districts.

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