Survey on new dam starts in Mullaperiyar

A team of officials led by an executive engineer began the survey for which clearance was recently given by the Union Forest and Environment Ministry. The move comes a day after AIADMK leader J Jayalaitha raised  protests by equating Kerala’s move with the Chinese plan to build a dam across the Brahmaputra. Jayalalitha said on Sunday that if India could protest against a Chinese project in their territory, then Tamil Nadu could well object to Kerala’s moves at Mullaperiyar.

Reacting to Jayalalitha’s statement, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan accused both his counterpart M Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha of deceiving people by opposing the construction of a new dam. “They are deceiving the people of both states by raising a hue and cry over Kerala’s position,” he said. He said that the existing structure posed a grave threat to the lives of 40 lakh people in the state and the government would ensure their safety. He said that Kerala would never deny water from the dam to Tamil Nadu.

The officials said that the survey being done on a 3-km stretch in the famed tiger reserve was being conducted strictly in accordance with the conditions laid down by the Centre. The state had already conducted a survey on a 7-km stretch outside the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

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