Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF government in Kerala on Friday announced in its first budget setting up of a special authority to complete within four years construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar, over which it is locked in a row with Tamil Nadu.
Presenting the revised budget for the year 2011-12 in the state assembly, Finance Minister K M Mani said Mullaperiyar was an issue of safety for Kerala and water for Tamil Nadu, which has raised objections to the new dam in place of the over century old existing structure.
Government policy was to ensure safety of the dam while providing water for Tamil Nadu, he said, while earmarking Rs five crore for the construction works this year.
State would submit a detailed project report for the construction of the new dam before the Supreme Court appointed empowered committee, he said.
The Mullaperiyar reservoir is situated in Idukki district bordering the two states.
Kerala is pressing for a new dam citing safety aspects, while Tamil Nadu has opposed it holding that the state would not get sufficient quantity of water which it now gets to irrigate parts of Madurai district.
The dispute is now under the consideration of the Supreme court which had appointed an Empowered Committee to look into the safety and other aspects of the existing structure.