Kerala Government will object to the composition of the coordination committee formed to advice the empowered committee of the Supreme Court on technical matters in the Mullaperiyar case.

Water Resources Minister N. K. Premachandran told the media here on Thursday that the empowered committee had assigned the Central Water Commission and The Central Soil and Material Research Station for advising it on the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam and construction of new dam to replace it and other technical matters. Mr. A.K Ganju, who is a member of the Central Water Commission (CWC), had been appointed as chairman of the coordination committee.

The Minister recalled that Mr. Ganju was the member of the expert committee appointed by the Centre in 2000-2001 which had recommended that the water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir could be raised to

152 feet. The Supreme Court verdict in 2006 in favour of raising the reservoir level was based on that report. It was that report that Kerala had challenged before the Court, as factually incorrect and manipulated, based on studies by independent agencies.

Mr. Premachandran said that Kerala was concerned about the actions and conclusions of the CWC representatives in the committees. Director of CWC S. Ghosh had been appointed as technical director of the empowered committee. This was against the undertaking given by the Additional Solicitor General before the Supreme Court that CWC would not be included in the studies or procedures of the empowered committee.

He also noted that the coordination committee was formed in a unilateral manner. While chairman of the special cell handling inter-State matters in Tamil Nadu was included as representative of Tamil Nadu in the coordination committee, the chairman of Mullaperiyar Cell of Kerala was not included. Instead Chief Engineer (Irrigation) of Kerala was included as Kerala’s representative without consulting the State.

He said that the Kerala’s interests had been harmed by entrusting studies for the empowered committee with the CWC which had filed report against Kerala earlier. It was unjust to refer reports of the IIT, Delhi on probable maximum flood in the Mullaperiyar basin and of IIT, Rookie, on seismicity to CWC.

He said that the issue would be raised before the empowered committee during hearing scheduled for February 17 and 18.

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