N. K. Premachandran, Minister for Water Resources said on Thursday that the “concern” so far expressed by the Kerala Government over the Tamil Nadu stand on the issue of replacing the 113 year old Mullaperiyar dam has to now be altered to a “strong protest”.

Talking to press persons here, Mr. Premachandran said that the formal orders from the Central Government to go ahead with the survey and investigation process for the purpose of constructing a new dam across the Mullaperiyar River was received by the State Government on Thursday.

He said that the orders have come from the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife Protection functioning under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. The order is required because the survey has to be conducted in an area coming under the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Mr. Premachandran said that he cannot comprehend why Tamil Nadu is opposing a new dam across Mullaperiyar. The whole intention of constructing a new dam is for the exclusive purpose of supplying water to Tamil Nadu. There is no other purpose behind the construction of a new dam.

The existing 113 year old dam is a threat to the life and property of lakhs of people in the State. In fact the survey for the new dam had begun in 2007. Had Tamil Nadu a genuine stand the opposition should have been raised then. Except for political reasons Tamil Nadu’s opposition to a new dam across the Mullaaperiyar has no other logic, Mr. Premachandran alleged.