CHENNAI : The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urging the Centre to keep in abeyance the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 until a consensus on the legislation is arrived at among the States. The principal opposition party DMK and its allies — Congress and IUML — welcomed the resolution but asked the government to be firm in its stand as the Centre had failed to honour such resolutions, including on NEET, in the past. Hours after the House adopted the resolution, the CM forwarded it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Moving the resolution during the Zero Hour, Palaniswami recalled that late CM J Jayalalithaa and the TN government had opposed the bill in 2011 and the Centre had given up the Dam Safety Bill, 2010. However, the Centre drafted another bill in 2016 and sent it to Tamil Nadu seeking its views. The State government was of the view that certain clauses were against TN’s interests.
Pointing out that four dams — Mullaperiyar, Parambikulam, Thunakadavu and Peruvaripallam — are owned, operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu, though situated in Kerala, Palaniswami said the present draft bill had no details about them and if it came into effect, Tamil Nadu would face problems in maintaining these reservoirs. He also pointed out that despite Supreme Court orders, Kerala had been posing problems for Tamil Nadu in carrying out the works to strengthen Mullaperiyar dam.
The CM also said the bill was encroaching upon the powers of the State government and that States would face problems in maintaining dams which were built in accordance with inter-State agreements. Besides, the Centre had not sought TN’s views on the current draft of the bill.