KOCHI: The Kerala government will initiate steps to hold discussions with the Tamil Nadu government and convince the latter on the need for a new dam at Mullaperiyar, once the baseline study for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is completed. “The baseline study is progressing. But the government will hold discussions with Tamil Nadu before the EIA report is submitted to Ministry of Environment for final approval. It is necessary that they understand the need to replace the 123-year-old dam,” Irrigation Department Chief Engineer Shamsudeen K H told TNIE.
As per the details prepared by the state, the EIA study includes the determination of baseline conditions and an assessment of impact on the environment due to the proposed irrigation project. It will also make recommendations on preventive measures to be taken to minimise the environmental impact to acceptable levels. The baseline study will consist of three seasonal studies (premonsoon, monsoon and winter seasons) and will include the catchment and submergence areas. According to senior government officers, while granting terms of reference (TOR) for the construction of the new Mullaperiyar Dam on November 14, 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change ((MoEF & CC) had laid down a condition that “mutual agreement between Government of Kerala and Tamil Nadu should be submitted before the issue of Environmental Clearance”.
“We need to work in close coordination with the Tamil Nadu government to submit the mutual agreement before the Ministry for final approval,” the officers said. However, they added that the task would not be easy as Tamil Nadu had already expressed its displeasure with the EIA study. It may be recalled that the Tamil Nadu government had filed a contempt petition before the Supreme Court against the Union and Kerala governments for undertaking a study for the new dam.
The baseline study will consist of seasonal studies (pre-monsoon, monsoon and winter) and will include catchment and submergence areas.
As per the details prepared by the state, the EIA study includes the determination of baseline conditions and an assessment of impact on the environment due to the proposed irrigation project.