CHENNAI: With the Supreme Court recently directing that powers of the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) be given to the supervisory committee on Mullaiperiyar dam for a period of one year, until the NDSA comes into force, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan on Monday said the State government would consult opposition parties and legal experts to take a stance in this regard.
Replying to a special mention on the Mullaiperiyar dam issue during zero hour, the minister said if the powers of NDSA are given to the supervisory committee, then the decision on maintaining the storage level would go to that committee which is comprised of representatives of both Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The minister also said the Dam Safety Act (passed by the Parliament recently) will not alter any of the existing arrangements regarding ownership, maintenance and water rights of the States but only stipulates an “institutional mechanism at the Central and State levels” to ensure the safe functioning of specified dams.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition, O Panneerselvam said the Kerala Forest Department has been, for many years, obstructing the efforts of the Tamil Nadu government to strengthen the baby dam at Mullaiperiyar dam site as per the directions of the Supreme Court. CM MK Stalin should use his good relationship with his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan to resolve the issues relating to the dam.
PMK floor leader GK Mani, DMK MLA Cumbum N Ramakrishnan, Congress floor leader K Selvaperunthagai, Thalli T Ramachandran (CPI), Nagai Mali (CPM) and T Velmurugan (TVK) also spoke on the issue.