C. Gouridasan Nair

Counsels to call on chairman of expert committee

State will continue to focus on the safety of the dam

Expects Tamil Nadu to cooperate with the panel

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After scoring what is widely seen as a victory at the Supreme Court on the Mullaperiyar dam row, the State government has begun follow-up action on the apex court’s verdict by evaluating its options and planning its next move as the five-member expert panel constituted by the court takes shape.

A joint meeting of the Inter-State Water Advisory Committee and the Mullaperiyar Cell held here on Thursday with Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran in the chair set the ball rolling by resolving to ask the State’s counsels to call on the former Supreme Court judge A.S. Anand, who has been appointed chairman of the expert panel, so that a decision on who should represent the State in the panel could be taken.

The meeting also decided to continue to focus on the safety of the dam as had been done before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Premachandran briefed the meeting about the work done so far and the gains that the State could make in the long-drawn battle over the issue.

The State can nominate one person to the national panel, but this would be possible only after the procedure proposed to be followed by the expert panel was known, the Water Resources Minister told The Hindu after the meeting which was attended by Additional Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, Ground Water Principal Secretary M.N. Gunavardanan, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management executive director K.V. Jayakumar, adviser to government on Mullaperiyar row M.K. Parameswaran Nair, among others, attended the meeting.

Earlier in the day, replying to questions at a news conference, Mr. Premachandran said that Kerala expected Tamil Nadu to cooperate with the expert panel constituted by the Supreme Court.