CHENNAI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) here on Wednesday allowed the Kerala government to construct a mega car parking facility and several other tourist structures in the water spread area of the Mullaiperiyar reservoir, which has been leased to Tamil Nadu.
The 51-page judgment, accessed by Express, was pronounced by the bench, comprising judicial member M S Nambiar and expert member P S Rao. Wednesday was the last working day for Rao. With it, the tribunal also has lost the quorum.
Without going into the inter-State dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over water spread area of the Mullaiperiyar dam, which is pending before the Supreme Court, the tribunal categorically said all construction activities proposed by the Kerala government were approved by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
“When NTCA examined the draft management plan and approved the Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP) for 10 years, including the development of tourism activities, we cannot agree with the argument put forth by the applicants that such activities attract the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act,1980 and therefore necessary clearance has to be obtained,” the bench said and disposed of the case.