The Tamil Nadu Government on Wednesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the Centre’s approval to Kerala for conducting a preliminary survey for building a new dam across the inter-State Mullaperiyar river.

An official press release here said despite various measures taken by the State government to stop the Union Environment Ministry from giving permission to Kerala for a survey for constructing a new dam across the Mullaperiyar, the Centre had granted it.

“Following this, the State Government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court”, the release said.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had accused the Centre of according permission to Kerala without consulting the State and announced that the State would move the Supreme Court to obtain a stay.

On September 16, Kerala had said the Union Environment Ministry had given conditional clearance for conducting a survey on building the new dam to replace the existing 112-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.

Locked in a dispute with downstream Tamil Nadu over the storage in the dam, Kerala wants to replace it with a new one, saying the existing structure in Idukki district was unsafe.

Tamil Nadu contends that the present dam, under its control, was strong enough and wants to increase the storage level to 142 feet from the present 136 feet.