`Panel has accepted Kerala`s demand for new dam`
Thiruvananthapuram: Maintaining that a Supreme Court appointed panel on Mullaperiyar Dam had accepted Kerala`s demand for a new reservoir, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday said the state, which is locked in a row with Tamil Nadu on the issue, would bring it to the court`s notice.
"The (Supreme Court appointed) Empowered Committee has accepted the idea of a new dam. We will be highlighting that in the apex court", Chandy told the assembly.
Chandy made the intervention during question hour after Water Resources Minister P J Joseph said the panel report was biased against Kerala but the state was firm on pressing ahead with its demand for a new dam.
The panel did not take into account studies by Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkie, which found that the dam was unsafe and instead went by the study of Annamalai University which held a contrary view, Joseph said.
Dispelling the impression that there were different perceptions on the issue within the Government, the Chief Minister said, "We should highlight the positive aspects in the report and jointly strive to secure our goal."
"Water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala" had always been the stand of the state and "safety" meant a new dam, Chandy said.
The Empowered Committee, headed by former Chief Justice of India, Justice A S Anand, had in its report submitted in May, vouched for the dam`s safety and asked the Kerala government to reconsider its move to build a new reservoir.
The Mullaperiyar Dam is located in Kerala`s Idduki district but managed by Tamil Nadu on a 999-year lease period. While Kerala insists that the existing 116-year-old dam be demolished on the grounds of safety, Tamil Nadu is opposed to it.
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