Kerala for new Mullaperiyar dam

Kerala for new Mullaperiyar dam

Kerala for new Mullaperiyar dam

The Kerala Legislative Assembly on Monday adopted a substantive motion seeking the Centre’s mediatory intervention in constructing a new dam in Mullaperiyar.

The motion moved by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy highlighting the state’s concerns on the matter and favouring a new dam – a contentious issue that has for long left Kerala and Tamil Nadu at loggerheads – was adopted unanimously.

The motion was adopted after a special discussion in the backdrop of the recent Supreme Court order on the issue.

The state Assembly also sought intervention by President Pranab Mukherjee – under Article 143 of the Constitution – in referring the matter to the Supreme Court. The motion said raised water levels at the Mullaperiyar dam would destroy wildlife and lead to adverse effects on environment around the reservoir.

Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan, who initiated the debate on the issue that lasted about four hours, sought creation of an expert committee to assess the existing dam’s safety and a reference of the matter to a larger SC bench. He also criticised the “irresponsible” manner in which the state government conducted the case.

The Supreme Court had, on May 7, issued an order that allowed Tamil Nadu to raise water level at the dam to 142 feet. Kerala has maintained that raising the water level above 136 feet would put about four million people living in five districts of the state in danger.

It has also been pushing for construction of a new dam in the backdrop of apprehensions over safety of the 118-year-old dam, a demand that was effectively quashed by the apex court order.