NEW DELHI: The Union government has denied permission to Kerala for a pre-feasibility study to erect a new dam at Mullaiperiyar as a case on the issue is pending before the Supreme Court and Kerala cannot decide till the apex court issues its directives. The matter is listed for hearing in the Supreme Court Friday.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in an official communication to Kerala said that they were delisting the project as the matter was sub judice. Tamil Nadu and Kerala have differences over the new dam, with Tamil Nadu opposing it.
The response was based on the recommendation of the ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) which said, “...the matter in complete perspective is sub-judice, and EAC decided to defer the proposal for grant of scoping clearance to the project till any directions of Supreme Court”.
Kerala government said the MoEF had earlier allowed them to do the EIA but had now withdrawn it because of pressure from Tamil Nadu.
“The environment ministry has informed us that they are delisting the matter of EIA, pending matter in the court. But the clearance of the wildlife board continues to remain. The government has taken the decision under pressure from Tamil Nadu and we will wait for SC hearing Friday,” said a senior official of Mullaiperiyar Cell.
The proposed project is located within 10 km radial distance of Periyar Tiger Reserve area and interstate boundary with TN, the project falls under Category ‘A’, and as such needs appraisal at Central Level as per General Conditions of EIA Notification, 2006. The administrative sanction has been accorded by the Government of Kerala for the EIA study of the new dam site area.