Says existing structure safe
Tamil Nadu has told the Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to go into the controversy over the Mullaperiyar dam that the detailed project report (DPR) submitted by Kerala for building a new dam should be rejected, as there is no need for one since the existing structure is safe.
In its response to Kerala's application asking the committee, headed by the former Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand, to consider the proposal for a new dam, Tamil Nadu said: “The State of Kerala has submitted the DPR in a suo motu assumption that the existing dam is unsafe both hydrologically and structurally. In contrast to that, the existing dam has been proved to be safe on both counts and hence the need for a new dam to replace the existing dam does not arise.”
Tamil Nadu's application, filed by G. Umapathy, advocate, said: “The DPR for the new dam proposed by Kerala suffers from lack of complete investigations. The State of Kerala has filed an incomplete report, which cannot form the basis for any dam and ought to be rejected by the Empowered Committee.”
‘New dam unviable'
“As the existing dam has been strengthened and well maintained and monitored to be good and safe both on hydrological and structural safety parameters, there is no need for a new dam, which in any case would be unviable keeping in view the environmental and ecological issues,” it said.
“The attempt of Kerala in filing the present DPR is not a bona fide action actuated by any genuine concern with regard to the safety of the existing dam, but is an attempt to deprive Tamil Nadu of the right to the waters of the Mullaperiyar Dam under the 1886 agreement, as ratified by the supplemental agreements of 1970. The DPR seeks to restrict the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) to +136 ft., thereby defeating the rights of Tamil Nadu to water up to the contour line of +155 ft., guaranteed under the agreement of 1886 as ratified by the supplemental agreements of 1970.”
The response said: “The DPR seeks to claim 1.1 tmcft of waters on account of purported environmental flows, which the State of Kerala is not entitled to. Further the DPR filed by Kerala is an incomplete technical exercise replete with contradictions. The geological investigations which are vital to decide the alignment and the foundation of the dam has not been completed, since 21 more bores are yet to be done as per the recommendation of the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Only 15 bores have been done since 2009, when the State of Kerala got permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) for conducting such an investigation.”