Mullaperiyar: High-level Kerla delegation led by VS to meet PM

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014,20:06 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | A high-level political delegation from Kerala comprising Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon to apprise the state’s concern on Mullaperiyar Dam over which it had been locked in a longdrawn tussle with Tamil Nadu.
This was decided at an all-party meeting held in the back ground of Tamil Nadu increasing the water level of the dam to 142 feet on the strength of Supreme Court order, amid safety concerns expressed by Kerala.
The delegation would submit a memorandum containing various demands, including a re-study on the safety of 117-year old dam, by an expert committee consisting of persons from India and abroad.
The delegation would leave for Delhi after getting a suitable appointment with Prime Minister, Water Resources Minister P J Joseph and Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told reporters after the all-party meet.    It was decided to move the Green Tribunal citing adverse ecological impact resulting from keeping the water level above the 142 feet in the dam, situated in Idduki district of Kerala but administered by Tamil Nadu under a decades old agreement.
Radhakrishnan said the government would bring before the Green Tribunal the ecological destruction caused by increasing water level 142 feet at the dam, which is part of Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR).
He said 5.68 sq km area of ever green and semi-ever green forest would be submerged due to increase in water level causing an irreparable loss to biodiversity on the slopes of the Western Ghats, he said.    Joseph, who is also a member of the delegation, said Kerala’s demand for a new dam would be renewed along with the state’s stand to keep water level at 136 feet.    Stating that Kerala was providing necessary protection to the dam, Joseph said there was no need for any Central force at the dam site.
The Supreme Court had earlier this year rejected Kerala’s demand for a new dam in place of the old one and upheld Tamil Nadu’s stand to raise the water level upto 142 feet.