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Updated: February 17, 2011 04:22 IST

Mullaperiyar Committee meets today

Legal Correspondent
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Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan. File Photo: S. Gopakumar
The Hindu Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan. File Photo: S. Gopakumar

Letter written by Achuthanandan to Prime Minister placed on record

The five-member Empowered Committee (EC) constituted to go into the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam will meet here on Thursday to hear the views of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Centre on the issues framed by it.

The committee comprised former Chief Justice of India Justice A.S. Anand; Justice K.T. Thomas, retired Supreme Court Judge representing Kerala; Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, retired Supreme Court Judge representing Tamil Nadu; former Secretary to the Ministry of Water Resources C.D. Thatte and retired Chief Engineer, Central Water Commission, D.K. Mehta had already conducted an on-the-spot inspection of the dam in December last.

Both the States had filed affidavits and submissions on the issues framed by the Committee.

On Tuesday, the Kerala government filed an application bringing on record a letter written by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention against the Central Water Commission getting actively involved in the functioning of the Empowered Committee as was assured by the Centre before the Supreme Court.

The Chief Minister in his letter said that a Coordination Committee had been set up to assist the Empowered Committee, “which is chaired by a representative from the CWC and Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS). The Empowered Committee asked the CWC to assess the two reports which Kerala got prepared by experts from IIT.”

Mr. Achuthanandan said, “I may bring to your notice that while the matter was being heard in the Supreme Court, we had specifically prayed to keep the CWC out of the picture as it is their erroneous calculations and recommendation which led to the order of the Supreme Court allowing to raise the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of the already weakened dam. (That is the cause of the present suit).”

He said, “As the CWC has already come to their conclusions, their continued association with the functioning of the Empowered Committee will be prejudicial to the interests of Kerala.

All this could be avoided if the Central government takes a clear stand in the matter in keeping with the assurance given by the Additional Solicitor General while the matter was heard by the Supreme Court.”

He said, “It seems that those who believe that the old dam could be repaired and rehabilitated are trying to build up a case for which the old arguments of CWC could be conveniently deployed using which Kerala's claim for a new dam would be thwarted. I would like to reiterate that the Government of Kerala is apprehensive of these developments which would be unfair to the State.”

“In a question of life and death for thousands of people in Kerala, such apprehensions cannot be left unaddressed. I request you to issue clear instructions by which the CWC does not get actively involved in the functioning of the EC as was assured to the Supreme Court”, he added.


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