Kerala will fight the Empowered Committee report that the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam is safe and continue to press its case for a new dam at a Supreme Court hearing, scheduled to be held on July 23, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Water Resources Minister P J Joseph told the Assembly on Friday.
“The empowered committee which concluded that the dam was indeed safe has also proposed a new dam. We have to highlight the positive side and strive to achieve it,” Chandy said.
According to Joseph, paragraph eight of the Committee’s report says that unforeseen circumstances could lead to a dam failure. “It also suggests a new dam as part of an amicable solution,” Joseph said.
“The IITs of Roorkee and Delhi have reported that the dam was not safe. But their reports were ignored. The Committee’s decision is biased,” he said. To a related question, Joseph said that a new dam can be built within two years. He also added that the state was all for more talks with Tamil Nadu on the Mullaperiyar issue.
CPM’s A K Balan said that Kerala would never win the case, and it was better to drop it and focus on protecting the state’s interests in the Pampa-Achenkoil- Vaipar river-linking proposal.
Joseph countered that such a stand was against the state’s interest and wanted the LDF to clarify whether Balan’s stand was indeed the Left policy on Mullaperiyar.