Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the withdrawal of a clearance given by Ministry of Environment and Forests to Kerala Government for conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment for constructing a new Mullaperiyar dam.
The Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife has given its consent to a proposal by Kerala Government for conducting an EIA study for constructing a new dam within 10 km radius of the proposed dam site.
Referring to the consent made available in the MoEF site, Panneerselvam in his letter to Modi quoted the order of a five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court dated May 7, 2014 and contended that construction of a new dam by Kerala was prohibited.
Observing that Kerala has approached the NWLB by not revealing the entire facts, Supreme Court judgements in the matter and obtained permission by "stealth," the Chief Minister said the people of Tamil Nadu were justifiably perturbed over the clearance.
Underlining the apex court's verdict that Mullaperiyar dam was hydrologically, structurally and seismically safe, the NWLB consent to Kerala was totally in violation of the Supreme Court's order both in letter and in spirit, he alleged.
Since Mullaperiyar dam was owned and operated by Tamil Nadu government under a lease agreement of 1886, any request from Kerala to various departments/ministries of the Centre over construction of a new dam should not be acted upon by any agency of the government, in the light of the apex court verdicts, he added.