Kerala govt failed to counter TN claims on dams, says opposition

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala was on Wednesday cornered after the opposition brought out documents that revealed alleged government inaction on Tamil Nadu’s claim to ownership of four dams in Kerala. 

JD(S) MLA Jameela Prakasham, who raised the issue during question hour in the Legislative Assembly, said a Kerala government official present at a National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) meeting in December last year failed to raise objection against Tamil Nadu’s claim on four dams — Mullaperiyar, Parambikulam, Peruvaripallam and Thoonakadavu.

Tamil Nadu — that operates and maintains these dams as part of the Parambikulam Aliyar Project — had sought listing of the dams as “owned, operated and maintained” by it, in the National Register of Large Dams  P Lathika, chief engineer (Irrigation and Administration), who represented Kerala at the meeting held on December 27, 2013, did not oppose Tamil Nadu’s demand.

Prakasham furnished documents as evidence to Tamil Nadu’s claim, even as members of the opposition targeted the government on its inaction on the issue and moved into the well of the House.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said charges raised by the MLA were “serious” and a reply on the matter will be given in the House on Thursday. He said action would be taken against anyone who had acted against the interests of the state.

The state government has already requested the NCDS officials to remove Tamil Nadu’s demand from the records and secure an assurance that appropriate action would be taken after consultation with representatives of Tamil Nadu.

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