CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday moved the Supreme Court, seeking directions to restrain Kerala from proceeding with the drilling works for construction of a new dam near the Mullaiperiyar dam, and also for directing the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to withdraw the permission granted by the Standing Committee of National Board for Wild Life for conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for construction of a new dam which went against the verdict of the Apex Court dated May 7, 2014.
The Tamil Nadu government, in its petition, observed that Periyar was an inter-State river and that the Apex Court had already categorically held that the State of Kerala was prohibited from constructing a new dam without the concurrence of the applicant State.
“Thus, Kerala is not entitled to proceed with the construction of a new dam in any manner or to proceed with any activities related to the proposed new dam without the concurrence of Tamil Nadu,” the petition added.
Stating that Kerala government had started drilling on the site for the proposed new dam from May 2, the Tamil Nadu Government, in its petition said that the alignment of the drilling operations lay about 370 metres downstream of the existing Mullaiperiyar Dam.
“This alignment is the same for which the respondent State of Kerala had stealthily obtained permission for conducting Survey and Investigation from the Ministry of Environment and Forests in the year 2009,” the petition further added.
The Tamil Nadu government also recalled that the Supreme Court, in its judgment dated May 7, 2014, had entirely relied upon the report of the Empowered Committee headed by A S Anand, former Chief Justice of India and held that the existing dam was found hydrologically, structurally and seismically absolutely safe to raise the water level in the dam up to 142 ft. The Empowered Committee, with regard to the new dam proposal of the State of Kerala, had held that the question of construction of a new dam did not arise at all in this case.