A retired PWD chief engineer has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Madras High Court seeking to regulate visitors to the Mullaperiyar Dam and ensure safety of the reservoir.

In his petition, A Kanagasabapathy said that a fear psychosis has been created by certain sections of people in Kerala over the past few months regarding the safety of the dam, with a view to gaining political advantage. He added that an opinion was sought to be created among the people of the state to the effect that the dam might burst leading to massive 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, the PIL quoted from a report in the Times of India newspaper.

Such a situation will not be in the interests of both the states and could also lead to unforeseen developments and whip up emotions on either side, Kanagasabapathy said in his petition.

Meanwhile, a division bench of justices Chitra Venkataraman and R Karuppiah in Madurai scheduled the PIL to be considered on Feb 23.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are locked in a bitter row over the safety of the 116-year-old dam. The dispute has intensified since Nov 2011.

Citing safety concerns, Kerala has been demanding the construction of a new dam in place of the old one.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court-appointed empowered committee on Mullaperiyar dam will meet on Wednesday, to examine its crucial report on the safety aspects of the dam before submitting the same to the court.

The committee is headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand, and comprises five members, including representatives from Tamil Nadu and Kerala.