Chennai, Nov. 20: The dispute over Cauvery water took a serious turn with suspected Tamil extremists attempting to blast a high-tension transmission tower at Thopaiyan- kulam village in Tamil Nadu last night.
The tower supports cables carrying electricity to neighbouring states as part of the Southern Power Grid Network.
According to preliminary reports reaching Chennai today, other than some damage to its four pillars, the explosion did not disrupt the transmission lines.
Alerted by the blast, villagers had informed police who rushed to the spot and were relieved to find that the power supply was intact. The impact of the blast had, however, sent one of the pillars three feet below ground level.
Handbills recovered from near the scene of the explosion mention “Tamil Nadu Cauvery Meetpu Padai (Tamil Nadu Troops for the Restoration of Cauvery Waters)”.
Police suspect it could also be the handiwork of the banned Tamil National Liberation Army, as their cadre have a presence in that belt known for its cashew groves.
Three small pieces of paper have also been recovered from the site of the blast. They contained certain demands, including that Tamil Nadu stop power transmission to Karnataka for its refusal to release Cauvery waters, and severe rail and road transportation and trade links with the neighbouring state.
Another demand is to stop transmission of programmes in Kannada language by private television channels here.
The incident has shocked government circles here as the transmission lines are part of the Southern Power Grid Network, transporting electricity from the Central power generating station of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), to the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Last month, Tamil film artistes had organised a rally before the NLC’s corporate office at Neyveli, demanding that the company stop supplying power to Karnataka following the latter’s refusal to supply water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu.