Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan demanded in the Assembly on Monday that a committee with international experts should be formed to study the safety aspects of Mullaperiyar dam.

Mr. Achuthanandan was moving a motion to raise discussion on “the extremely serious situation” that has arisen consequent on the verdict of the Supreme Court on May 7 on the Mullaperiyar issue.

Mr. Achuthanandan urged that the government should take steps to bring up the issue before a larger bench of the Supreme Court. The President and the Centre should be pressed to intervene in the matter.

The State government should set up a permanent monitoring committee to oversee preparation of material and conduct of the case before the Supreme Court if it comes before a larger bench of the Court.

He said that the failure of the State government to properly conduct the case that led to the 2006 Supreme Court verdict was the root cause of the failure in winning the State’s case this time also.

The then government had acted irresponsibly. Though the Assembly had passed a resolution in December 2011, seeking the lowering of the water level in the dam to 120 feet, the State had failed to present material supporting the argument before the court.

He criticised that the government had been inactive during the past one month after the verdict. It should take initiative to hold talks with Tamil Nadu on the proposal for new dam. The verdict was not against settling matters through talks.

Mr. Achuthanandan noted that the court had come to the finding that Periyar was an inter-State river on the basis of erroneous data prepared by the State Water Resources Department. The river rises in

Kerala and flows only through Kerala and hence it was not an inter-State river. However, Kerala had failed to convince the court.

He said that the court’s conclusion that only political agreements are invalidated at the time of independence would have far-reaching implications.

The House is likely to adopt a substantive motion at the end of the discussion.

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