Tamil Nadu CM writes to centre seeking rejection of Kerala's proposal for new dam in Mullaperiyar

File Photo: Manorama Online.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday expressed strong objections to Kerala's proposal to construct a new dam in the Mullaperiyar River. Kerala has approached the centre seeking permission to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the new dam's construction.

According to Stalin, any such study would violate the Supreme Court orders. He argued that experts and the apex court already confirmed the safety of the existing dam.

In a letter to the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, a copy which Stalin shared on X (formerly Twitter), the Tamil Nadu CM urged the former to drop the proposal from the agenda of Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC)’s upcoming meeting on May 28.

“The existing dam has been repeatedly found to be safe in all aspects by various Expert Committees and has been ruled so by the Honourable Supreme Court in its judgements dated 27.02.2006 and 07.05.2014. Later in 2018, when the State of Kerala made an attempt to get approval for the ToR for EIA study for the proposal for a new dam, the issue was taken up by Tamil Nadu at the Honourable Supreme Court and it was clearly ruled that any such step would require the Honourable Court’s permission,” Stalin said in the letter.

“Therefore, the current act of Kerala’s IDRB taking up EIA study for a new dam as well EAC considering the request for permission to take up the above study would definitely be in contempt of the orders passed by the Honourable Supreme Court”, Stalin added.

Stalin also urged the ministry not to take any such proposal from Kerala in the future.

Kerala has recently decided to finalise the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for constructing a new dam in Mullaperiyar within a month. According to the Ministry of Water Resources, the project will take at least seven years to complete. However, if construction begins immediately, it could be finished in five years. The dam's design is already complete, and the next steps are conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment and obtaining approval from the forest and wildlife departments.

This is the second time a DPR is being prepared for the new dam; the first, in 2011, estimated the cost at Rs 600 crore. The Mullaperiyar Dam is located in Kumali panchayat, Peerumedu taluk in Idukki district, with the new site identified 366 meters downstream from the existing structure.

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